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Vatican Observatory

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The Vatican Observatory now bears the official title, "Specola Astronomica Vaticana". To understand its history it is necessary to remark that the designations osservatorio or specola are not restricted to astronomy, but may mean any elevated locality from which aerial phenomena are observed. From this point of view the history of the Specola Vaticana has passed through four successive stages.

(1) The first period of the Vatican Observatory is thus described in the Motu Proprio of 1891 by Leo XIII :

Gregory XIII ordered a tower to be erected in a convenient part of the Vatican buildings, and to be fitted out with the greatest and best instruments of the time. There he held the meetings of the learned men to whom the reform of the calendar had been entrusted. The tower stands to this day, a witness to the munificence of its author. It contains a meridian line by Ignazio Danti of Perugia, with a round marble plate in the centre adorned with scientific designs. When touched by the rays of the sun that are allowed to enter from above, the designs demonstrate the error of the old reckoning and the correctness of the reform.

The first half of this narration is based upon a tradition supported by Gilii and Calandrelli (see LILIUS); it is connected with the Vatican Observatory, at least as far as the locality is concerned. The tower is 73 metres above sea level and stands over the museum and library, between the courtyards Belvedere and della Pigna. It is often called the "Tower of the Winds"

(2) The second period of the Vatican Observatory deals mainly with the person of Mgr. Filippo Luigi Gilii, whose life has been written by Lais. Gilii was born in Corneto in 1756, and died in Rome, in 1821, a beneficed clergyman of St. Peter's Basilica. He was a universal genius, well versed in physics and in biology, in archeology and in the Hebrew language. The Gregorian Tower was then in charge of the Vatican librarian, to which office Cardinal Zelada had been appointed in 1780. Zelada wished to honour the traditions of the tower by devoting its upper part to an observatory. In 1797 he obtained the sanction of Pius VI, and placed over the entrance to the tower the Latin inscription Specula Vaticana . The upper story was fitted up with meteorological and magnetic instruments, with a seismograph, a Dolland telescope, a small transit and pendulum clock, and the observatory was given in charge of Mgr. Gilii. From 1800 to 1821 Gilii made an uninterrupted series of meteorological observations, reading the instruments twice a day (after 6 a. m. and 2 p, m.), according to the programme of the Mannheim Meteorological Society. The observations of about seven years of the long series are published, while the rest are in great part preserved as manuscripts in the Vatican Library. There are also deposited astronomical observations of eclipses, comets, Jupiter's satellites, and of a transit of Mercury. Gilii's scientific activity extended beyond the Vatican Observatory and beyond Rome. The meridian line in front of St. Peter's, with the obelisk as gnomon and the readings of the seasons by the length of the shadow, is due to him; so are also the signs on the floor of St. Peter's Basilica , indicating the lengths of the greatest churches of the world, likewise the two old clocks of French and Italian style, in the front of the basilica, and finally the first lightning rod on St. Peter's cupola. Similar memories of him exist in various churches and cities of Italy. The tombstone in Ara Co li calls him a man "mitissimi ingenii, modestiæ singularis, pius". At the death of Gilii the Vatican Observatory was discontinued, for the following reason : Pius VII and Leo XII raised the standard of studies in the papal states. The latter pope, in his Apostolic letter, "Quod divina sapientia", gave instructions about observatories, publications, and intercourse with foreign scientists. In 1787 the observatory at the Roman College had been founded, under Calandrelli, and was declared preferable to the Vatican, as more accessible to students in the city, and not obstructed by the great cupola of St. Peter's (Giornale Arcadico, II, p. 407). On the advice of Father Boscovich the instruments were then transferred from the Gregorian Tower to the Roman College.

(3) The revival of the Vatican Observatory in its third period was occasioned, on the one hand, by the loss to the Church of the Roman College and its observatory in 1870, and on the other, by the exposition of instruments presented to Leo XIII by the Italian clergy for the celebration of his golden jubilee of priesthood, in 1888. The Barnabite Father Denza, well-known as founder of the Italian Meteorological Society, then proposed to Leo XIII to preserve the instruments in the Gregorian Tower, and to restore that locality to its former purposes. The plan was accepted and a series of the best instruments was procured, partly from donations by Hicks in London, partly by purchase of self-registering apparatus from Richard in Paris. From the observatory of the late Marquis of Montecuccoli in Modena, of which Denza had been director, a four-inch equatorial, a three-inch transit instrument, and four pendulum clocks with two chronometers, were acquired. Father Denza had still broader plans. The year before in 1887, Mouchez had organized the cooperation of a number of observatories for continuing Argelander's observations to fainter magnitudes by means of photography. At the second meeting of the committee in Paris, in 1889, Denza declared his intention to join in the work. For this purpose, Leo XIII ceded to the Vatican Observatory a second tower, more than 400 metres distant from the Gregorian. It is the western of the two towers remaining from the Leonine Fortress, which had been built for defence against the Saracens in 848-53. With a diameter of 17 metres and a thickness of 4.5 metres in the lower walls, it seemed large and strong enough to support the thirteen-inch photographic refractor which was ordered from Gauthier in Paris. During the four years following, the observatory remained in charge of the vice-director, Father Lais, of the Oratory who has conducted the photographic work from the beginning, all at his own expense. From 1898 until 1905 the directorship was in the hands of the Augustinian Father Rodriguez, a specialist in meteorology. Seven volumes were published during the third period of the observatory, four under Denza, the fifth under Lais, and the last two under Rodriguez.

(4) The fourth and present period of the Vatican Observatory began with the appointment in November, 1904, by Pius X of Archbishop (now Cardinal ) Maffi as President of the Specola. His first step was to remedy the great difficulty caused by the separation of the two towers. According to his plans, the Gregorian Tower was to be abandoned to historical archives, and the second round tower of the old Leonine Fortress, with the adjoining summer residence of Leo XIII, was to be given over to astronomy. The two old towers were to be connected with each other by a passage over the fortification wall, with an iron bridge spanning a gap of 85 metres in length. For carrying out these plans, the author of the present article was designated in the audience given to Cardinal Maffi on 14 March, 1906, and officially appointed on 26 April. The fortification wall, a thousand years old, which extends about 400 metres, is now crowned with four rotary domes, covering the astrographic refractor in the Leonine Tower, and a new sixteen-inch visual telescope in the second tower, called Torre Pio X. A four-inch equatorial stands on a half round bastion, at the west end of the bridge, and a photoheliograph at the east end of the old wall, over the barracks of the gendarmes. The old transit instrument is mounted on a vault over the main walls of the new residence. After the material restoration of the observatory, the main problems were a library and the measuring of the astrographic plates. The rich meteorological library was consigned to the Pontifical Academy Lincei, and the old meteorological and seismic instruments were mainly sent to the observatory in Valle di Pompei, An astronomical library is now filling two rooms of the new residence; old treasures were secured to it by the loan of the scientific collection from the Vatican Library, the latter confining itself to historical and literary branches. The astrographic plates are being measured with two new Repsold machines, which are placed in a neighbouring convent, in charge of three Sisters. For nearly four years the director enjoyed the cooperation of Father Stein, S.J., by which it was possible to publish the first three numbers of the new series, besides minor essays, and the last two series of the atlas of variable stars. At the reunion of the Astrographic Congress at Paris in 1909, P. Lais presented thirty charts reproduced by himself on silver-bromide paper.

More Volume: V 294

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Valle, Pietro della

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Vane, Thomas

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Francesco Vanni

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Giorgio Vasari

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Vatican as a Scientific Institution, The

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Vatican Observatory

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The Vatican Observatory now bears the official title, "Specola Astronomica Vaticana". To ...
Vatican, The

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Vaudreuil

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Vauquelin, Louis-Nicolas

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Vaux-de-Cernay

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Vavasour, Thomas

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English Catholic physician, pensioner of St. John's College, Cambridge, b. about 1536-7; d. at ...
Vavasseur, François

Francois Vavasseur

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Vecchietta, Lorenzo di Pietro

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Vedas

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Vega, Andreas de

Andreas de Vega

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Veghe, Johannes

Johannes Veghe

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Vegio, Maffeo

Maffeo Vegio

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Veglia, Diocese of

Veglia

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Vehe, Michael

Michael Vehe

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Veil, Humeral

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Veil, Religious

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Veit, Philipp

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Veith, Johann Emanuel

Johann Emanuel Veith

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Velazquez, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y

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Venezuela

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Veni Creator Spiritus

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The "most famous of hymns " (Frere), is assigned in the Roman Breviary to Vespers (I and II) ...
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The sequence for Pentecost (the "Golden Sequence "). It is sung at Mass from Whitsunday until ...
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A prose invocation of the Holy Ghost . The Alleluia following the Epistle of Whitsunday ...
Venice

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Venice, the capital of a province in Northern Italy, is formed of a group of 117 small islands ...
Venosa

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(VENUSIN.) Diocese in Southern Italy. The city is situated on a high precipitous hill, one of ...
Ventimiglia

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Ventura di Raulica, Gioacchino

Gioacchino Ventura di Raulica

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Venturino of Bergamo

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Venusti, Raffaele

Raffaele Venusti

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Vera Cruz

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Verapoly, Archdiocese of

Verapoly

(VERAPOLITANA.) Located on the Malabar Coast, India, having the Diocese of Quilon as ...
Verbiest, Ferdinand

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Verbum Supernum Prodiens

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The first line of two hymns celebrating respectively the Nativity of Christ and the Institution ...
Vercelli

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Giuseppe Verdi

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(VIRODUNENSIS.) Comprises the Department of the Meuse. Suppressed by the Concordat of 1802, ...
Verecundus

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sentence --> Bishop of Junca, in the African Province of Byzacena, in the middle of the ...
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Vernier, Pierre

Pierre Vernier

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Veroli

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Verona

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Augustin Verot

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Hospice-Anthelme Verreau

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Count Pietro Verri

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Verrocchio, Andrea del

Andrea Del Verrocchio

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Versailles

(VERSALIENSIS). Diocese ; includes the Department of Seine-et-Oise, France. Created in ...
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Versions of the Bible, Coptic

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DIALECTS The Coptic language is now recognized in four principal dialects, Bohairic (formerly ...
Verstegan, Richard

Richard Verstegan

( Alias ROWLANDS). Publisher and antiquarian, born at London, about 1548; died at Antwerp ...
Vertin, John

John Vertin

Third Bishop of Marquette, U.S.A. b. at Doblice, Diocese of Laibach (Carniolia), Austria, 17 ...
Vertot, Réné-Aubert, Sieur de

Rene-Aubert, Sieur de Vertot

French historian, b. at Benetot, Normandy, 25 Nov., 1655; d. in Paris, 15 June, 1735. He was for ...
Veruela

Veruela

A celebrated Cistercian monastery and church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. It is situated ...
Vesalius, Andreas

Andreas Vesalius

(WESALIUS.) The reorganizer of the study of anatomy ; b. at Brussels, 31 Dec., 1514; d. in a ...
Vespasian

Vespasian

(TITUS FLAVIUS VESPASIANUS). Roman Emperor, b. at Reate (now Rieti ), the ancient capital of ...
Vespasiano da Bisticci

Vespasiano Da Bisticci

( Or FIORENTINO.) Florentine humanist and librarian, b. in 1421; d. in 1498. He was ...
Vespers

Vespers

This subject will be treated under the following headings: I. Vespers in the sixth century; II. ...
Vespers, Music of

Music of Vespers

The texts (e.g. antiphons, psalms, hymn ) sung in Vespers vary according to the feast or the ...
Vespers, Sicilian

Sicilian Vespers

The traditional name given to the insurrection which broke out at Palermo on Easter Tuesday, 31 ...
Vespucci, Amerigo

Amerigo Vespucci

A famous Italian navigator, born at Florence, 9 March, 1451; died at Seville, 22 February, 1512. ...
Vessels, Altar

Altar Vessels

The chalice is the cup in which the wine and water of the Eucharistic Sacrifice is contained. ...
Vestibule (in Architecture)

Vestibule (Porch)

A hall projecting in front of the façade of a church, found from the fifth century both ...
Vestments

Vestments

IN WESTERN EUROPE By liturgical vestments are meant the vestments that, according to the rules ...
Veszprém

Veszprem

(VESPRIMIENSIS.) Diocese in Hungary, suffragan of Gran, one of the sees founded about 1009 by ...
Veto, The Royal

The Royal Veto

(In the appointment of Bishops in Ireland and England.) Although the penal laws enacted ...
Vetter, Conrad

Conrad Vetter

Preacher and polemical writer, b. at Engen in the present Grand Duchy of Baden, 1547; d. at ...
Veuillot, Louis

Louis Veuillot

Journalist and writer, b. at Boynes, Loiret, 11 Oct., 1813; d. in Paris, 7 April, 1883. He was ...
Vexiö, Ancient See of

Ancient See of Vexio

(WEPIONENSIS.) The Ancient See of Vexiö, in Sweden, comprised the County of Kronoberg ...
Vexilla Regis Prodeunt

Vexilla Regis Prodeunt

This "world-famous hymn, one of the grandest in the treasury of the Latin Church " (Neale), and ...
Vezzosi, Antonio Francesco

Antonio Francesco Vezzosi

Member of the Theatine Congregation and biographical writer, born at Arezzo, Italy, 4 October, ...
Via Crucis

Way of the Cross

(Also called Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa). These names are used to signify ...
Via Dolorosa

Way of the Cross

(Also called Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa). These names are used to signify ...
Viader, José

Jose Viader

Born at Gallimes, Catalonia, 27 August, 1765. He received the habit of St. Francis at Barcelona ...
Vianney, Saint Jean-Baptiste-Marie

St. John Vianney

Curé of Ars, born at Dardilly, near Lyons, France, on 8 May, 1786; died at Ars, 4 ...
Viaticum

Viaticum

Name Among the ancient Greeks the custom prevailed of giving a supper to those setting out on a ...
Viator, Clerics of Saint

Clerics of Saint Viator

St. Viator, lector of the cathedral at Lyons, France, lived in the fourth century and is the ...
Viborg, Ancient See of

Ancient See of Viborg in Denmark

(VIBERGAE, VIBERGENSIS.) The ancient See of Viborg, in Denmark, comprised the Province of ...
Vicar

Vicar

( Latin vicarius , from vice , "instead of") In canon law, the representative of a person ...
Vicar Apostolic

Vicar Apostolic

(1) In the early ages of the Church, the popes committed to some residentiary bishops the ...
Vicar Capitular

Vicar Capitular

The administrator of a vacant diocese, elected by a cathedral chapter. On the death of a ...
Vicar of Christ

Vicar of Christ

(Latin Vicarius Christi ). A title of the pope implying his supreme and universal ...
Vicar-General

Vicar-General

The highest official of a diocese after the ordinary. He is a cleric legitimately deputed to ...
Vicari, Hermann von

Hermann von Vicari

Archbishop of Freiburg in Baden, b. at Aulendorf in Wurtemberg, 13 May, 1773; d. at Freiburg, ...
Vicariate Apostolic (Updated List)

Vicariate Apostolic

The following is an account of the newly-erected vicariates Apostolic and of those changed so ...
Vice

Vice

( Latin vitium , any sort of defect) is here regarded as a habit inclining one to sin. It is ...
Vicelinus, Saint

St. Vicelinus

Bishop of Oldenburg, apostle of Holstein, b. at Hameln about 1086; d. 12 Dec., 1154. Orphaned ...
Vicente, Gil

Gil Vicente

Portuguese dramatist, b. about 1470; he was living in 1536. He took up the study of law but ...
Vicenza, Diocese of

Vicenza

(VICENTINA). The city is the capital of a province in Venetia (Northern Italy ). The ...
Vich, Diocese of

Vich

(Vicensis, Ausonensis). Suffragan of Tarragona, bounded on the north by Gerona, on the east ...
Vico, Francescoe de

Francescoe de Vico

Astronomer, b. at Macerata, States of the Church, 19 May, 1805; d. at London, England, 15 Nov., ...
Victimae Paschali Laudes Immolent Christiani

Victimae Paschali Laudes Immolent Christiani

The first stanza of the Easter sequence. Medieval missals placed it on various days within the ...
Victor

Victor (Bishop of Tunnunum)

Bishop of Tunnunum (Tonnenna, Tunnuna) in Northern Africa and zealous supporter of the Three ...
Victor I, Pope Saint

Pope St. Victor I

(189-198 or 199), date of birth unknown. The "Liber Pontificalis" makes him a native of Africa ...
Victor II, Pope

Pope Victor II

(GEBHARD, COUNT OF CALW, TOLLENSTEIN, AND HIRSCHBERG.) Born about 1018; died at Arezzo, 28 ...
Victor III, Pope Blessed

Pope Blessed Victor III

(DAUFERIUS or DAUFAR). Born in 1026 or 1027 of a non-regnant branch of the Lombard dukes of ...
Victor IV

Victor IV

Two antipopes of this name. I. Cardinal Gregory Conti, elected in opposition to Innocent II ...
Victor of Capua

Victor of Capua

A sixth-century bishop about whose life nothing is known except what is found in his epitaph ...
Victor Vitensis

Victor Vitensis

An African bishop of the Province of Byzacena (called VITENSIS from his See of Vita), b. ...
Victoria

Victoria

(VICTORIEN. IN INS. VANCOUVER.) Diocese in southwestern British Columbia, of which province it ...
Victoria Nyanza, Northern

Vicarite Apostolic of Northern Victoria Nyanza

The Mission of Victoria Nyanza, founded in 1878 by the White Fathers of Cardinal Lavigerie, was ...
Victoria Nyanza, Southern

Southern Victoria Nyanza

Vicariate apostolic erected from the mission of Nyanza, 13 June, 1894, lies north of the ...
Victorinus, Caius Marius

Caius Marius Victorinus

(Called also VICTORINUS MARIUS, or MARIUS FABIUS VICTORINUS, and frequently referred to as ...
Victorinus, Saint

St. Victorinus

An ecclesiastical writer who flourished about 270, and who suffered martyrdom probably in 303, ...
Vida, Marco Girolamo

Marco Girolamo Vida

Italian Humanist, b. at Cremona about 1490; d. in 1566. He came to Rome under Julius II ; a ...
Vieira, Antonio

Antonio Vieira

Missionary, diplomat, orator, b. at Lisbon, 6 February, 1608; d. at Bahia, Brazil, 18 July, 1697. ...
Viel, Nicholas

Nicholas Viel

Died 1625, the first victim of apostolic zeal on the shores of the St. Lawrence. After ...
Vienna

Vienna

Vienna -- the capital of Austria-Hungary, the residence of the emperor, and the seat of a Latin ...
Vienna, University of

University of Vienna

Foundation of the University Next to the University of Prague that of Vienna is the oldest ...
Vienne, Council of

Council of Vienne (1311-12)

Pope Clement V, by the Bull "Regnans in coelis" of 12 Aug., 1308, called a general council to ...
Vierthaler, Franz Michael

Franz Michael Vierthaler

A distinguished Austrian pedagogue, b. at Mauerkirchen, Upper Austria, 25 September, 1758; d. ...
Vieta, François

Francois Vieta, Seigneur de la Bigottiere

(VIÈTE.) Father of modern algebra, b. at Fontenay-le-Comte (Poitou), 1540; d. in ...
Viger, Denis-Benjamin

Denis-Benjamin Viger

French-Canadian statesman and writer, b. at Montreal, 19 Aug., 1774; d. 1861. After studying ...
Viger, Jacques

Jacques Viger

French-Canadian antiquarian and archaeologist, b. at Montreal, 7 May, 1787; d. 12 Dec., 1858. ...
Vigevano

Vigevano

(VIGLEVANENSIS.) Diocese in Lombardy, Province of Pavia. The city is a great agricultural ...
Vigilius

Vigilius

Bishop of Tapsus, in the African Province of Byzacena. Mentioned in the "Notitia" appended to ...
Vigilius, Pope

Pope Vigilius

Reigned 537-55, date of birth unknown; died at Syracuse, 7 June 555. He belonged to a ...
Vigilius, Saint

St. Vigilius (Bishop of Trent)

Bishop of Trent, martyr, patron of Trent and of Tyrol, b. c. 353; d. 26 June, 405; feast 26 ...
Vignola, Giacomo Barozzi da

Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola

A theoretical and practical architect of the Transition Period between the Renaissance and ...
Vigor, Simon

Simon Vigor

French bishop and controversialist, b. at Evreux, Normandy, about 1515; d. at Carcassonne, 1 ...
Vikings

Northmen (Vikings)

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...
Villalpandus, Juan Bautista

Juan Bautista Villalpandus

Born at Cordova, Spain, in 1552; entered the Society of Jesus in 1575; died on 22 May, 1608. His ...
Villani, Giovanni

Giovanni Villani

Florentine historian, b. about 1276; d. of the plague in 1348. Descended from a wealthy family ...
Villanovanus, Arnaldus

Arnaldus Villanovanus

(ARNALDUS OF VILLANUEVA, or VILLENEUVE, or BACHUONE). Celebrated in his day as a physician, ...
Villefranche, Jacques-Melchior

Jacques-Melchior Villefranche

Publicist, b. at Couzon-sur-Saone, 17 Dec., 1829; d. at Bourg, 10 May, 1904. After excellent ...
Villehardouin, Geoffroi de

Geoffroi de Villehardouin

Maréchal de Champagne, warrior, and first historian in the French language, b. about 1150; ...
Villeneuve-Barcement, Jean-Paul-Alban

Jean-Paul-Alban Villeneuve-Barcement

Vicomte de, b. at Saint-Auban, Var, 8 Aug., 1784; d. at Paris, 8 June, 1850. After having taken ...
Villermé, Louis-René

Louis-Rene Villerme

French economist, b. at Paris, 10 March, 1782; d. there, 16 Nov., 1863. He was devoted to ...
Villers, Cistercian Abbey of

Cistercian Abbey of Villers

Situated on the confines of Villers and Tilly, Duchy of Brabant, present Diocese of Namur ...
Vilna

Vilna

(VILENSIS). Vilna, the capital of Lithuania, is situated at the junction of the Rivers ...
Vincent de Paul, Saint

St. Vincent de Paul

Born at Pouy, Gascony, France, in 1580, though some authorities have said 1576; died at Paris, ...
Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Charity of Saint

Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul

A congregation of women with simple vows, founded in 1633 and devoted to corporal and ...
Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Charity of Saint (New York)

Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (New York)

(Motherhouse at Mt. St. Vincent-on Hudson, New York; not to be confused with the Sisters of ...
Vincent de Paul, Society of Saint

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

An international association of Catholic laymen engaging systematically in personal service of ...
Vincent Ferrer, Saint

St. Vincent Ferrer

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

Blessed Vincent Kadlubek

(KADLUBO, KADLUBKO). Bishop of Cracow, chronicler, b. at Karnow, Duchy of Sandomir, Poland, ...
Vincent of Beauvais

Vincent of Beauvais

Priest and encyclopedist. Little is known of his personal history. The years of his birth and ...
Vincent of Lérins, Saint

St. Vincent of Lerins

Feast on 24 May, an ecclesiastical writer in Southern Gaul in the fifth century. His work is ...
Vincent, Saint

St. Vincent

(MALDEGARIUS). Founder and abbot of the monasteries of Hautmont and Soignies, b. of a noble ...
Vincent, Saint

St. Vincent

Deacon of Saragossa, and martyr under Diocletian, 304; mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, 22 ...
Vincentians

Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians)

A congregation of secular priests with religious vows founded by St. Vincent de Paul. The ...
Vincenzo de Vit

Vincenzo de Vit

Latinist, b. at Mestrina, near Padua, 10 July, 1810; d. at Domo d'Ossola, 17 Aug., 1892. He made ...
Vinci, Leonardo di Ser Piero da

Leonardo da Vinci

(LEONARDO DI SER PIERO DA VINCI) Florentine painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and ...
Vindicianus, Saint

St. Vindicianus

Bishop of Cambrai - Arras, b. if tradition is to be believed, perhaps at Beaulaincourt, near ...
Vineam Domini

Vineam Domini

An Apostolic Constitution issued by Clement XI against the Jansenists on 16 July, 1705. It ...
Violence

Violence

Violence ( Latin vis ), an impulse from without tending to force one without any concurrence on ...
Viotti, Giovanni Battista

Giovanni Battista Viotti

Founder of the modern school of violinist, b. at Fontanetto, Piedmont, 23 May, 173; d. 3 ...
Viraggio, Jacopo di

Bl. Jacopo de Voragine (Di Viraggio)

( Also DI VIRAGGIO). Archbishop of Genoa and medieval hagiologist, born at Viraggio (now ...
Virgilius, Saint

Saint Virgilius

(VIRGILE). Archbishop of Arles, died c. 610. According to a life written in the eighth ...
Virgin Birth of Christ

Virgin Birth of Christ

The dogma which teaches that the Blessed Mother of Jesus Christ was a virgin before, during, ...
Virgin Mary, Devotion to the

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Down to the Council of Nicaea Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be ...
Virgin Mary, Name of

The Name of Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God. The Hebrew ...
Virgin Mary, The

The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God. In general, the ...
Virginia

Virginia

Surnamed "The Old Dominion", "The Mother of States and of Statesmen", one of the thirteen original ...
Virginity

Virginity

Morally, virginity signifies the reverence for bodily integrity which is suggested by a virtuous ...
Virtue

Virtue

The subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Definitions; II. Subjects; III. ...
Virtue, Heroic

Heroic Virtue

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

Peter Vischer

Sculptor and metal founder, b. at Nuremberg about 1460; d. in 1529. His father Hermann, who ...
Visdelou, Claude de

Claude de Visdelou

Born at the Château de Bienassis, Pléneuf, Brittany, 122 Aug., 1656; died at ...
Visigoths

Visigoths

One of the two principal branches of the Goths. Until 375 their history is combined with that of ...
Visions

Visions and Apparitions

This article will deal not with natural but with supernatural visions, that is, visions due to ...
Visit ad Limina

Visit Ad Limina

(Sc. Apostolorum ) The visit ad limina means, technically, the obligation incumbent on ...
Visitation Convent, Georgetown

The Visitation Convent (Georgetown)

Located in the District of Columbia , United States of America . This convent was founded by ...
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I. THE EVENT Assuming that the Annunciation and the Incarnation took place about the vernal ...
Visitation Order

Visitation Order

The nuns of the Visitation of Mary, called also Filles de Sainte-Marie, Visitandines, and ...
Visitation, Canonical

Canonical Visitation

The act of an ecclesiastical superior who in the discharge of his office visits persons or ...
Visitors Apostolic

Visitors Apostolic

Officials whom canonists commonly class with papal legates. Visitors differ from other Apostolic ...
Visits to the Blessed Sacrament

Visits To the Blessed Sacrament

By this devotional practice, which is of comparatively modern development, the presence of ...
Vitalian, Pope Saint

Pope St. Vitalian

(Reigned 657-72). Date of birth unknown; d. 27 January, 672. Nothing is known of Vitalian's ...
Vitalini, Bonifazio

Bonifazio Vitalini

(DE VITALINIS). Jurist, b. at Mantua, Italy, about 1320; d. at Avignon after 1388. After ...
Vitalis and Agricola, Saints

Sts. Vitalis and Agricola

Martyred at Bologna about 304 during Diocletian's persecution. Agricola, who was beloved for ...
Vitalis of Savigny, Saint

St. Vitalis of Savigny

Founder of the monastery and Congregation of Savigny (1112), b. at Tierceville near Bayeaux ...
Vitalis, Saint

St. Vitalis

Martyr. His legend, which is of little historical value, relates that he was martyred by order ...
Vitelleschi, Muzio

Muzio Vitelleschi

Born at Rome 2 Dec., 1563; died there 9 Feb., 1645. He belonged to a distinguished family but ...
Vitellius, Lucius

Lucius Vitellius

Proclaimed Roman Emperor by the soldiers at Cologne during the civil war of A.D. 69; d. at Rome, ...
Vitensis, Victor

Victor Vitensis

An African bishop of the Province of Byzacena (called VITENSIS from his See of Vita), b. ...
Viterbo and Toscanella

Viterbo and Toscanella

(VITERBIENSIS ET TUSCANENSIS). The city of Viterbo in the Province of Rome stands at the foot ...
Vitoria

Vitoria

(VICTORIENSIS). Diocese ; suffragan of Burgos, in Spain, bounded on the north by the Bay of ...
Vittorino da Feltre

Vittorino Da Feltre

(VITTORINO DE' RAMBALDONI). Humanist educator, b. at Feltre, 1397; d. at Mantua, 1446. He was ...
Vitus, Modestus, and Crescentia, Saints

Sts. Vitus, Modestus, and Crescentia

According to the legend, martyrs under Diocletian ; feast, 15 June. The earliest testimony for ...
Viva, Domenico

Domenico Viva

Writer, b. at Lecce, 19 Oct., 1648; d. 5 July, 1726. He entered the Society of Jesus 12 May, ...
Vivarini

Vivarini (Family of Painters)

A family of Italian painters. Alvise Vivarini Born in 1446 or 1447; died in 1502. He was the ...
Vives, Juan Luis

Juan Luis Vives

Spanish humanist and philosopher, b. at Valencia, 6 March, 1492; d. at Bruges, 6 May, 1540. ...
Viviers

Viviers

(VIVARIUM). Diocese ; includes the Department of Ardèche, France. It was suppressed ...
Vivisection

Moral Aspect of Vivisection

Defined literally the word vivisection signifies the dissection of living creatures; ordinarily it ...
Vizagapatam, Diocese of

Vizagapatam

Located in the east of India, suffragan to Madras. It is bounded on the north by the River ...
Vizeu

Vizeu

(VISENSIS). Diocese in north central Portugal. The bishopric dates from the sixth century and ...
Vladimir the Great, Saint

St. Vladimir the Great

(VLADIMIR or VOLODOMIR). Grand Duke of Kieff and All Russia, grandson of St. Olga, and the ...
Vocation, Ecclesiastical and Religious

Ecclesiastical and Religious Vocation

An ecclesiastical or religious vocation is the special gift of those who, in the Church of God, ...
Vogüé, Eugène-Melchior, Vicomte de

Eugene-Melchior, Vicomte de Vogue

Critic, novelist, and historian, born at Nice, 25 February, 1848; died in Paris, 24 February, ...
Vogler, George Joseph

George Joseph Vogler

Theorist, composer and organist, b. at Würzburg, 15 June 1749, d. at Darmstadt, 6 May, ...
Volk, Wilhelm

Wilhelm Volk

(Pseudonym, LUDWIG CLARUS). Born at Halberstadt 25 Jan., 1804; died at Erfurt 17 March, 1869. ...
Volksverein

Volksverein

(PEOPLE'S UNION) FOR CATHOLIC GERMANY. A large and important organization of German Catholics ...
Volta, Alessandro

Alessandro Volta

Physicist, b. at Como, 18 Feb., 1745; d. there, 5 March, 1827. As his parents were not in ...
Volterra

Volterra

(VOLTARRANENSIS). Diocese in Tuscany. The city stands on a rocky mountain 1770 feet above the ...
Volterra, Daniele da

Daniele Da Volterra

(RICCIARELLI). Italian painter, b. at Volterra, 1509; d. in Rome, 1566. Ricciarelli was called ...
Voluntarism

Voluntarism

Voluntarism ( Latin voluntas , will) in the modern metaphysical sense is a theory which ...
Voluntary

Voluntary

Wilful, proceeding from the will. It is requisite that the thing be an effect of the will ...
Voluntary Association, Right of

Right of Voluntary Association

I. LEGAL RIGHT A voluntary association means any group of individuals freely united for the ...
Von Gagern, Max, Freiherr

Freiherr Max von Gagern

Born at Weilburg (in Nassau), Germany, 25 March, 1810; died at Vienna, 17 October, 1889. He was ...
Vondel, Joost van Den

Joost van Den Vondel

Netherland poet and convert, b. at Cologne, 17 Nov., 1587, of parents whose residence was ...
Voragine, Jacopo de

Bl. Jacopo de Voragine (Di Viraggio)

( Also DI VIRAGGIO). Archbishop of Genoa and medieval hagiologist, born at Viraggio (now ...
Votive Mass

Votive Mass

( Missa votiva ) A Mass offered for a votum , a special intention. So we frequently find ...
Votive Offerings

Votive Offerings

The general name given to those things vowed or dedicated to God, or a saint, and in ...
Votive Offices

Votive Offices

A votive office is one not entered in the general calendar, but adopted with a view to satisfying ...
Vows

Vows

I. GENERAL VIEW A vow is defined as a promise made to God. The promise is binding, and so differs ...
Vrau, Philibert

Philibert Vrau

"The holy man of Lille ", organizer of numerous Catholic activities; b. at Lille, 19 Nov., ...
Vrie, Theodoric

Theodoric Vrie

Historian of the Council of Constance . He describes himself as a brother of the Order of ...
Vulgate, Revision of

Revision of Vulgate

In the spring of 1907 the public press announced that Pius X had determined to begin preparations ...

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