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Rule of St. Benedict

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This work holds the first place among monastic legislative codes, and was by far the most important factor in the organization and spread of monasticism in the West. For its general character and also its illustration of St. Benedict's own life, see the article SAINT BENEDICT. Here, however, it is treated in more detail, under the following heads:

I. The Text of the Rule;
II. Analysis of the Rule;
III. Practical Working of the Rule.

I. THE TEXT OF THE RULE

The exact time and place at which St. Benedict wrote his Rule are not known, nor can it be determined whether the Rule, as we now possess it, was composed as a single whole or whether it gradually took shape in response to the needs of his monks. Somewhere about 530 however, may be taken as a likely date, and Monte Cassino as a more probable place than Subiaco, for the Rule certainly reflects St. Benedict's matured monastic and spiritual wisdom. The earliest chronicler says that when Monte Cassino was destroyed by the Lombards in 581, the monks fled to Rome, carrying with them, among other treasures, a copy of the Rule "which the holy Father had composed"; and in the middle of the eighth century there was in the pope's library a copy believed to be St. Benedict's autograph. It has been assumed by many scholars that this was the copy brought from Monte Cassino ; but though this is likely enough, it is not a certainty. Be that as it may, this manuscript of the Rule was presented by Pope Zachary to Monte Cassino in the middle of the eighth century, a short time after the restoration of that monastery. Charlemagne found it there when he visited Monte Cassino towards the end of the century, and at his request a most careful transcript of it was made for him, as an exemplar of the text to be disseminated throughout the monasteries of his empire. Several copies of the Rule were made from it, one of which survives to this day; for there can be no doubt that the present Codex 914 of the St. Gall Library was copied directly from Charlemagne's copy for the Abby of Reichnau. An exact diplomatic reprint (not in facsimile) of this codex was published at Monte Cassino in 1900, so that the text of this manuscript, certainly the best individual text of the Rule in existence, can be studied without difficulty. Various other manuscripts go back to Charlemagne's manuscript, or to its original at Monte Cassino, which was destroyed by fire in 896, and thus the text of the so-called autograph may be restored by approved critical methods with quite unusual certainty, and could we be certain that it really was the autograph, there would be no more to say.

But as already pointed out, it is not quite certain that it was St. Benedict's autograph, and the case is complicated by the circumstance that there is in the field another type of text, represented by the oldest known manuscript, the Oxford Hatton manuscript 42, and by other very early authorities, which certainly was the text most widely diffused in the seventh and eighth centuries. Whether this text was St. Benedict's first recension and the "autograph" his later revision, or whether the former is but a corrupted form of the latter, is a question which is still under debate, though the majority of critics lean towards the second alternative. In either case, however, the text of the "autograph" is the one to be adopted. The manuscripts, from the tenth century onwards, and the ordinary printed editions, give mixed texts, made up out of the two earliest types. Thus the text in current use is critically a bad one, but very few of the readings make any substantial difference.

The Rule was written in the Lingua Vulgaris or Low Latin vernacular of the time, and contains much syntax and orthography not in conformance with the classical models. There is as yet no edition of the Rule that satisfies the requirements of modern criticism, though one is in process of preparation for the Vienna "Corpus" of Latin Ecclesiastical writers. A sufficiently good manual edition was published by Dom Edmund Schmidt. of Metten, at Ratisbon in 1892, presenting in substance the text of St. Gall manuscript, with the Low Latin element eliminated.

The number of commentators on the rule is legion. Calmet gives a list of over a hundred and thirty such writers, and Ziegelbauer gives a similar list. The earliest commentary, in point of date, is that which has been variously ascribed to Paul Warnefrid (a monk of Monte Cassino about 780-799), Hildemar, Ruthard of Hirsau, and others. Hildemar, a Gallic monk, brought to Italy by Angelbert, Archbishop of Milan, reformed the monastery of Sts. Faustinus and Jovita at Brescia and died in 840. Marténe, who considered this commentary to be the best ever produced, maintained that Hildemar was its real author, but modern critics attribute it to Paul Warnefrid. Amongst other commentators the following deserve mention: St. Hildegard (d. 1178), the foundress and first Abbess of Mount St. Rupert, near Bingen on the Rhine, who held that St. Benedict's prohibition of flesh-meat did not include that of birds ; Bernard, Abbot of Monte Cassino, formerly of Lérins and afterwards a Cardinal (d. 1282); Turrecremata (Torquemada) a Dominican (1468); Trithemius, Abbot of Sponheim (1516); Perez, Archbishop of Tarragona and Superior-General of the congregation of Valladolid; Haeften, Prior of Afflighem (1648); Stengel, Abbot of Anhausen (1663); Mége (1691) and Marténe (1739) Maurists ; Calmet, Abbot of Senones (1757); and Mabillon (1707), who discusses at length several portions of the Rule in his Prefaces to the different volumes of the "Acta Sanctorum O.S.B."

It is impossible to gauge the comparative value of these and other commentaries, because the different authors treat the Rule from different points of view. That of Calmet is perhaps the most literal and exhaustive on many important points; those of Marténe and Haeften are mines of information regarding monastic tradition: Perez and Mége are practical and pious, though the latter has been considered lax in many of the views maintained; that of Turrecremata is useful as treating the Rule from the standpoint of moral theology ; and others give mystical interpretations of its contents. It may be pointed out that in studying the Rule as a practical code of monastic legislation, it is necessary to facilitate uniformity of observance, each congregation of the order has its own constitutions, approved by the Holy See , by which are regulated many of the matters of detail not touched upon by the Rule itself.

Before proceeding to analyze St. Benedict's Rule and to discuss its leading characteristics, something must be said about the monasticism that preceded his times, and out of which his system grew, in order that some idea may be gained as to how much of the Rule was borrowed from his precursors and how much was due to his own initiative. Such considerations are important because there is no doubt whatever that the introduction and propagation of St. Benedict's Rule was the turning-point which changed the whole trend of monasticism in the West.

The earliest forms of Christian monachism were characterized by their extreme austerity and by their more or less eremetical nature. In Egypt, the followers of St. Anthony were purely eremetical, whilst those who followed the Rule of St. Pachomius, though they more nearly approached the cenobitical ideal, were yet without that element of stability insisted upon by St. Benedict, viz: the "common life" and family spirit. Under the Antonian system the austerities of the monks were left entirely to their own discretion; under the Pachomian, though there was an obligatory rule of limited severity, the monks were free to add to it what other ascetical practices they chose. And in both, the prevailing idea was that they were spiritual athletes, and as such they rivaled each other in austerity. Syrian and strictly Oriental monasticism need not be considered here, as it had no direct influence on that of Europe. When St. Basil (fourth century) organized Greek monasticism, he set himself against the eremetical life and insisted upon a community life, with meals, work, and prayer, all in common. With him the practice of austerity, unlike that of the Egyptians, was to be subject to control of the superior, for he considered that to wear out the body by austerities so as to make it unfit for work, was a misconception of the Scriptural precept of penance and mortification. His idea of the monastic life was the result of the contact of primitive ideas, as existing in Egypt and the East, with European culture and modes of thought.

Monasticism came into Western Europe from Egypt. In Italy, as also in Gaul, it was chiefly Antonian in character, though both the rules of St. Basil and St. Pachomius were translated into Latin and doubtless made their influence felt. As far as we know, each monastery had practically its own rule, and we have examples of this irresponsible form of monastic life in the community St. Benedict was called from his cave to govern, and in the Gyrovagi and Sarabitae whom he mentions in terms of condemnation in the first chapter of his Rule. A proof that the pervading spirit of Italian monachism was Egyptian lies in the fact that when St. Benedict determined to forsake the world and become a monk, he adopted, almost as a matter of course, the life of a solitary in a cave. His familiarity with the rules and other documents bearing upon the life of the Egyptian monks is shown by his legislating for the daily reading of the "Conferences" of Cassian, and by his recommendation (c. 73) of the "Institutes" and "Lives" of the Fathers and the Rule of St. Basil.

When, therefore, St. Benedict came to write his own Rule for the monasteries he had founded, he embodied in it the result of his own mature experience and observation. He had himself lived the life of a solitary after the most extreme Egyptian pattern, and in his first communities he had no doubt thoroughly tested the prevailing type of monastic rule. Being fully cognizant, therefore, of the unsuitability of much in the Egyptian systems to the times and circumstances in which he lived, he now struck out on a new line, and instead of attempting to revivify the old forms of asceticism, he consolidated the cenobitical life, emphasized the family spirit, and discouraged all private venture in austerities. His Rule thus consists of a carefully considered combination of old and new ideas ; rivalry in austerity was eliminated, and there was to be henceforth a sinking of the individual in the community. In adapting a system essentially Eastern, to Western conditions, St. Benedict gave it coherence, stability, and organization, and the verdict of history is unanimous in applauding the results of such adaptation.

II. ANALYSIS OF THE RULE

Of the seventy-three chapters comprising the Rule, nine treat of the duties of the abbot, thirteen regulate the worship of God, twenty-nine are concerned with discipline and the penal code, ten refer to the internal administration of the monastery, and the remaining twelve consist of miscellaneous regulations.

The Rule opens with a prologue or hortatory preface, in which St. Benedict sets forth the main principles of the religious life, viz.: the renunciation of one's own will and the taking up of arms under the banner of Christ. He proposes to establish a "school" in which the science of salvation shall be taught, so that by persevering in the monastery till death his disciples may "deserve to become partakers of Christ's kingdom ".

  • In Chapter 1 are defined the four principle kinds of monks : (1) Cenobites, those living in a monastery under an abbot ; (2) Anchorites, or hermits, living a solitary life after long probation in the monastery ; (3) Sarabites, living by twos and threes together, without any fixed rule or lawfully constituted superior; and (4) Gyrovagi, a species of monastic vagrants, whose lives spent in wandering from one monastery to another, only served to bring discredit on the monastic profession. It is for the first of these classes, as the most stable kind, that the Rule is written.
  • Chapter 2 describes the necessary qualifications of an abbot and forbids him to make distinction of persons in the monastery except for particular merit, warning him at the same time that he will be answerable for the salvation of the souls committed to his care.
  • Chapter 3 ordains the calling of the brethren to council upon all affairs of importance to the community.
  • Chapter 4 summarizes the duties of the Christian life under seventy-two precepts, which are called "instruments of good works" and are mainly Scriptural either in letter or in spirit.
  • Chapter 5 prescribes prompt, cheerful, and absolute obedience to the superior in all things lawful, which obedience is called the first degree of humility.
  • Chapter 6 deals with silence, recommending moderation in the use of speech, but by no means prohibiting profitable or necessary conversation.
  • Chapter 7 treats of humility, which virtue is divided into twelve degrees or steps in the ladder that leads to heaven. They are: (1) fear of God ; (2) repression of self-will; (3) submission of the will to superiors; (4) obedience in hard and difficult matters; (5) confession of faults; (6) acknowledgment of one's own worthlessness; (7) preference of others to self; (8) avoidance of singularity; (9) speaking only in due season; (10) stifling of unseemly laughter; (11) repression of pride ; (12) exterior humility.
  • Chapters 9-19 are occupied with the regulation of the Divine Office, the opus Dei to which "nothing is to be preferred", or Canonical Hours, seven of the day and one of the night. Detailed arrangements are made as to the number of Psalms, etc., to be recited in winter and summer, on Sundays, weekdays, Holy Days, and at other times.
  • Chapter 19 emphasizes the reverence due to the presence of God.
  • Chapter 20 directs that prayer in common be short.
  • Chapter 21 provides for the appointment of deans over every ten monks, and prescribes the manner in which they are to be chosen.
  • Chapter 22 regulates all matters relating to the dormitory, as, for example, that each monk is to have a separate bed and is to sleep in his habit, so as to be ready to rise without delay, and that a light shall burn in the dormitory throughout the night.
  • Chapter 23-30 deal with offences against the Rule and a graduated scale of penalties is provided: first, private admonition; next, public reproof; then separation from the brethren at meals and elsewhere; then scourging; and finally expulsion; though this last is not to be resorted to until every effort to reclaim the offender has failed. And even in this last case, the outcast must be received again, should he so desire, but after the third expulsion all return is finally barred.
  • Chapter 31 and 32 order the appointment of a cellarer and other officials, to take charge of the various goods of the monastery, which are to be treated with as much care as the consecrated vessels of the altar.
  • Chapter 33 forbids the private possession of anything without the leave of the abbot, who is, however, bound to supply all necessaries.
  • Chapter 34 prescribes a just distribution of such things.
  • Chapter 35 arranges for the service in the kitchen by all monks in turn.
  • Chapter 36 and 37 order due care for the sick, the old, and the young. They are to have certain dispensations from the strict Rule, chiefly in the matter of food.
  • Chapter 38 prescribes reading aloud during meals, which duty is to be performed by such of the brethren, week by week, as can do so with edification to the rest. Signs are to be used for whatever may be wanted at meals, so that no voice shall interrupt that of the reader. The reader is to have his meal with the servers after the rest have finished, but he is allowed a little food beforehand in order to lessen the fatigue of reading.
  • Chapter 39 and 40 regulate the quantity and quality of the food. Two meals a day are allowed and two dishes of cooked food at each. A pound of bread also and a hemina (probably about half a pint) of wine for each monk. Flesh-meat is prohibited except for the sick and the weak, and it is always within the abbot's power to increase the daily allowance when he sees fit.
  • Chapter 41 prescribes the hours of the meals, which are to vary according to the time of year.
  • Chapter 42 enjoins the reading of the "Conferences" of Cassian or some other edifying book in the evening before Compline and orders that after Compline the strictest silence shall be observed until the following morning.
  • Chapters 43-46 relate to minor faults, such as coming late to prayer or meals, and impose various penalties for such transgressions.
  • Chapter 47 enjoins on the abbot the duty of calling the brethren to the "world of God " in choir, and of appointing those who are to chant or read.
  • Chapter 48 emphasizes the importance of manual labour and arranges time to be devoted to it daily. This varies according to the season, but is apparently never less than about five hours a day. The times at which the lesser of the "day-hours" (Prime, Terce, Sext, and None ) are to be recited control the hours of labour somewhat, and the abbot is instructed not only to see that all work, but also that the employments of each are suited to their respective capacities.
  • Chapter 49 treats of the observance of Lent, and recommends some voluntary self-denial for that season, with the abbot's sanction.
  • Chapters 50 and 51 contain rules for monks who are working in the fields or traveling. They are directed to join in spirit, as far as possible, with their brethren in the monastery at the regular hours of prayers.
  • Chapter 52 commands that the oratory be used for purposes of devotion only.
  • Chapter 53 is concerned with the treatment of guests, who are to be received "as Christ Himself". This Benedictine hospitality is a feature which has in all ages been characteristic of the order. The guests are to be met with due courtesy by the abbot or his deputy, and during their stay they are to be under the special protection of a monk appointed for the purpose, but they are not to associate with the rest of the community except by special permission.
  • Chapter 54 forbids the monks to receive letters or gifts without the abbot's leave.
  • Chapter 55 regulates the clothing of the monks. It is to be sufficient in both quantity and quality and to be suited to the climate and locality, according to the discretion of the abbot, but at the same time it must be as plain and cheap as is consistent with due economy. Each monk is to have a change of garments, to allow for washing, and when traveling shall be supplied with clothes of rather better quality. The old habits are to be put aside for the poor.
  • Chapter 56 directs that the abbot shall take his meals with the guests.
  • Chapter 57 enjoins humility on the craftsmen of the monastery, and if their work is for sale, it shall be rather below than above the current trade price.
  • Chapter 58 lays down rules for the admission of new members, which is not to be made too easy. These matters have since been regulated by the Church, but in the main St. Benedict's outline is adhered to. The postulant first spends a short time as a guest; then he is admitted to the novitiate, where under the care of a novice-master, his vocation is severely tested; during this time he is always free to depart. If after twelve month' probation, he still persevere, he may be admitted to the vows of Stability, Conversion of Life, and Obedience, by which he binds himself for life to the monastery of his profession.
  • Chapter 59 allows the admission of boys to the monastery under certain conditions.
  • Chapter 60 regulates the position of priests who may desire to join the community. They are charged with setting an example of humility to all, and can only exercise their priestly functions by permission of the abbot.
  • Chapter 61 provides for the reception of strange monks as guests, and for their admission if desirous of joining the community.
  • Chapter 62 lays down that precedence in the community shall be determined by the date of admission, merit of life, or the appointment of the abbot.
  • Chapter 64 orders that the abbot be elected by his monks and that he be chosen for his charity, zeal, and discretion.
  • Chapter 65 allows the appointment of a provost, or prior, if need be, but warns such a one that he is to be entirely subject to the abbot and may be admonished, deposed, or expelled for misconduct.
  • Chapter 66 provides for the appointment of a porter, and recommends that each monastery should be, if possible, self-contained, so as to avoid the need of intercourse with the outer world.
  • Chapter 67 gives instruction as to the behavior of a monk who is sent on a journey.
  • Chapter 68 orders that all shall cheerfully attempt to do whatever is commanded them, however hard it may seem.
  • Chapter 69 forbids the monks to defend one another.
  • Chapter 70 prohibits them from striking one another.
  • Chapter 71 encourages the brethren to be obedient not only to the abbot and his officials, but also to one another.
  • Chapter 72 is a brief exhortation to zeal and fraternal charity
  • Chapter 73 is an epilogue declaring that this Rule is not offered as an ideal of perfection, but merely as a means towards godliness and is intended chiefly for beginners in the spiritual life.
Characteristics of the Rule

In considering the leading characteristics of this Holy Rule, the first that must strike the reader is its wonderful discretion and moderation, its extreme reasonableness, and its keen insight into the capabilities as well as the weaknesses of human nature. Here are no excesses, no extraordinary asceticism, no narrow-mindedness, but rather a series of sober regulations based on sound common-sense. We see these qualities displayed in the deliberate elimination of austerities and in the concessions made with regard to what the monks of Egypt would have looked upon as luxuries. A few comparisons between the customs of these latter and the prescriptions of St. Benedict's Rule will serve to bring out more clearly the extent of his changes in this direction.

With regard to food, the Egyptian ascetics reduced it to a minimum, many of them eating only twice or thrice a week, whilst Cassian describes a meal consisting of parched vetches with salt and oil. three olives, two prunes, and a fig, as a "sumptuous repast" (Coll. vii, 1). St. Benedict, on the other hand, though he restricts the use of flesh-meat to the sick, orders a pound of bread daily and two dishes of cooked food at each meal, of which there were two in summer and one in winter. And he concedes also an allowance of wine, though admitting that it should not properly be the drink of monks (Chapter 40). As to clothing, St. Benedict's provision that habits were to fit, to be sufficiently warm, and not too old, was in great contrast to the poverty of the Egyptian monks, whose clothes, Abbot Pambo laid down, should be so poor that if left on the road no one would be tempted to take them (Apophthegmata, in P.G. LXV, 369). In the matter of sleep, whereas the solitaries of Egypt regarded diminution as one of their most valued forms of austerity, St. Benedict ordered from six to eight hours of unbroken sleep a day, with the addition of a siesta in summer. The Egyptian monks, moreover, often slept on the bare ground, with stones or mats for pillows, and often merely sitting or merely reclining, as directed in the Pachomian Rule, whilst Abbot John was unable to mention without shame the finding of a blanket in a hermit's cell (Cassian, Coll. xix, 6). St. Benedict, however, allowed not only a blanket but also a coverlet, a mattress, and a pillow to each monk. This comparative liberality with regard to the necessaries of life, though plain and meagre perhaps, if tested by modern notions of comfort, was far greater than amongst the Italian poor of the sixth century or even amongst many of the European peasantry at the present day. St. Benedict's aim seems to have been to keep the bodies of his monks in a healthy condition by means of proper clothing, sufficient food, and ample sleep, so that they might thereby be more fit for the due performance of the Divine Office and be freed from all that distracting rivalry in asceticism which has already been mentioned. There was, however, no desire to lower the ideal or to minimize the self-sacrifice that the adoption of the monastic life entailed, but rather the intention of bringing it into line with the altered circumstances of Western environment, which necessarily differed much from those of Egypt and the East. The wisdom and skill with which he did this is evident in every page of the Rule, so much so that Bossuet was able to call it "an epitome of Christianity, a learned and mysterious abridgement of all the doctrines of the Gospel, all the institutions of the Fathers, and all the Counsels of Perfection".

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St. Benedict perceived the necessity for a permanent and uniform rule of government in place of the arbitrary and variable choice of models furnished by the lives and maxims of the Fathers of the Desert. And so we have the characteristic of collectivism, exhibited in his insistence on the common life, as opposed to the individualism of the Egyptian monks. One of the objects he had in view in writing his Rule was the extirpation of the Sarabites and Gyrovagi, whom he so strongly condemns in his first chapter and of whose evil lives he had probably had painful experience during his early days at Subiaco. To further this aim he introduced the vow of Stability, which becomes the guarantee of success and permanence. It is only another example of the family idea that pervaded the entire Rule, by means of which the members of the community are bound together by a family tie, and each takes upon himself the obligation of persevering in his monastery until death, unless sent elsewhere by his superiors. It secures to the community as a whole, and to every member of it individually, a share in all the fruits that may arise from the labours of each monk, and it gives to each of them that strength and vitality which necessarily result from being one of a united family, all bound in a similar way and all pursuing the same end. Thus, whatever the monk does, he does it not as an independent individual but as part of a larger organization, and the community itself thus becomes one united whole rather than a mere agglomeration of independent members. The vow of Conversion of Life indicates the personal striving after perfection that must be the aim of every Benedictine monk. All the legislation of the Rule, the constant repression of self, the conforming of one's every action to a definite standard, and the continuance of this form of life to the end of one's days, is directed towards "putting off the old man and putting on the new", and thereby accomplishing the conversio morum which is inseparable from a life-long perseverance in the maxims of the Rule. The practice of obedience is a necessary feature in St. Benedict's idea of the religious life, if not indeed its very essence. Not only is a special chapter of the Rule devoted to it, but it is repeatedly referred to as a guiding principle in the life of the monk ; so essentials it that it is the subject of a special vow in every religious institute, Benedictine or otherwise. In St. Benedict's eyes it is one of the positive works to which the monk binds himself, for he calls it labor obedientiae (Prologue). It is to be cheerful, unquestioning, and prompt; to the abbot chiefly, who is to be obeyed as holding the place of Christ, and also to all the brethren according to the dictates of fraternal charity, as being "the path that leads to God " (Chapter 71). It is likewise extended to hard and even impossible things, the latter being at least attempted in all humility. In connexion with the question of obedience there is the further question as to the system of government embodied in the Rule. The life of the community centres round the abbot as the father of the family. Much latitude with regard to details is left to "discretion and judgement", but this power, so far from being absolute or unlimited, is safeguarded by the obligation laid upon him of consulting the brethren - either the seniors only or else the entire community - upon all matters affecting their welfare. And on the other hand, wherever there seems to be a certain amount of liberty left to the monks themselves, this, in turn, is protected against indiscretion by the repeated insistence on the necessity for the abbot's sanction and approval. The vows of Poverty and Chastity, though not explicitly mentioned by St. Benedict, as in the rules of other orders, are yet implied so clearly as to form an indisputable and essential part of the life for which he legislates. Thus by means of the vows and the practice of the various virtues necessary to their proper observance, it will be seen that St. Benedict's Rule contains not merely a series of laws regulating the external details of monastic life , but also all the principles of perfection according to the Evangelical Counsels .

With regard to the obligation or binding power of the Rule, we must distinguish between the statutes or precepts and the counsels. By the former would be meant those laws which either command or prohibit in an absolute manner, and by the latter those that are merely recommendations. It is generally held by commentators that the precepts of the Rule bind only under the penalty of venial sin, and the counsels not even under that. Really grave transgressions against the vows, on the other hand, would fall under the category of mortal sins. It must be remembered, however, that in all these matters the principles of moral theology, canon law, the decisions of the Church, and the regulations of the Constitutions of the different congregations must be taken into consideration in judging of any particular case.

III. PRACTICAL WORKING OF THE RULE

No higher testimony as to the inherent excellencies of the Rule can be adduced than the results it has achieved in Western Europe and elsewhere; and no more striking quality is exhibited by it than by its adaptability to the ever-changing requirements of time and place since St. Benedict's days. Its enduring character is the highest testimony to its wisdom. For fourteen centuries it has been the guiding light of a numerous family of religious, men and women, and it is a living code at the present day, just as it was a thousand years ago. Though modified and adapted, from time to time, to suit the peculiar necessities and conditions of various ages and countries, by reason of its wonderful elasticity its principles still remain the same, and it has formed the fundamental basis of a great variety of other religious bodies. It has merited the encomiums of councils, popes, and commentators, and its vitality is as vigorous at the present time as it was in the ages of faith. Though it was no part of St. Benedict's design that his spiritual descendants should make a figure in the world as authors or statesmen, as preservers of pagan literature, as pioneers of civilization, as revivers of agriculture, or as builders of castles and cathedrals, yet circumstances brought them into all these spheres. His sole idea was the moral and spiritual training of his disciples, and yet in carrying this out he made the cloister a school of useful workers, a real refuge for society, and a solid bulwark of the Church (Dudden, Gregory the Great, II, ix). The Rule, instead of restricting the monk to one particular form of work, makes it possible for him to do almost any kind of work, and that in a manner spiritualized and elevated above the labour of merely secular craftsmen. In this lies one of the secrets of its success.

The results of the fulfilment of the precepts of the Rule are abundantly apparent in history. That of manual labour, for instance, which St. Benedict laid down as absolutely essential for his monks, produced many of the architectural triumphs which are the glory of the Christian world. Many cathedrals (especially in England ), abbeys, and churches, scattered up and down the countries of Western Europe, were the work of Benedictine builders and architects. The cultivation of the soil, encouraged by St. Benedict, was another form of labour to which his followers gave themselves without reserve and with conspicuous success, do that many regions have owed much of their agricultural prosperity to the skillful husbandry of the sons of St. Benedict. The hours ordered by the Rule to be devoted daily to systematic reading and study, have given to the world many of the foremost scholars and writers, so that the term "Benedictine erudition" has been for long centuries a byword indicative of the learning and laborious research fostered in the Benedictine cloister. The regulations regarding the reception and education of children, moreover, were the germ from which sprang up a great number of famous monastic schools and universities which flourished in the Middle Ages.

It is true that as communities became rich and consequently less dependent upon their own labours for support, the primitive fervour for the Rule diminished, and for this reason charges of corruption and absolute departure from monastic ideals have been made against monks. But, although it is impossible to deny that the many reforms that were initiated seem to give colour to this view, it cannot be admitted that the Benedictine Institute, as a whole, ever became really degenerate or fell away seriously from the ideal established by its legislator. Individual failures there certainly were, as well as mitigations of rule, from time to time, but the loss of fervour in one particular monastery no more compromises all the other monasteries of the same country than the faults of one individual monk reflect necessarily upon the rest of the community to which he belongs. So, whilst admitting that the rigour of the Rule has varied at different times and in different places, we must, on the other hand, remember that modern historical research has entirely exonerated the monastic body as a whole from the charge of a general departure from the principles of the Rule and a widespread corruption of either ideal or practice. Circumstances have often rendered mitigations necessary but they have always been introduced as such and not as new or better interpretations of the Rule itself. The fact that the Benedictines still glory in their Rule, guard it with jealousy, and point to it as the exemplar according to which they are endeavouring to model their lives, is in itself the strongest proof that they are still imbued with its spirit, though recognizing its latitude of application and its adaptability to various conditions.

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Jean-Baptiste Regis

Born at Istres, Provence, 11 June, 1663, or 29 Jan., 1664; died at Peking, 24 Nov., 1738. He was ...
Régis, Pierre Sylvain

Pierre Sylvain Regis

Born at La Salvetat de Blanquefort, near Agen, in 1632; died in Paris, in 1707. After his ...
Rabanus, Blessed Maurus Magnentius

Blessed Maurus Magnentius Rabanus

( Also Hrabanus, Reabanus). Abbot of Fulda, Archbishop of Mainz, celebrated theological ...
Rabbi and Rabbinism

Rabbi and Rabbinism

The special condition which prevailed in Palestine after the Restoration led to the gradually ...
Rabbulas

Rabbulas

Bishop of Edessa and, in the later years of his life, one of the foremost opponents of ...
Rabelais, François

Francois Rabelais

The life of this celebrated French writer is full of obscurities. He was born at Chinon in ...
Raccolta

Raccolta

( Italian "a collection") A book containing prayers and pious exercises to which the popes ...
Race, Human

Human Race

Mankind exhibits differences which have been variously interpreted. Some consider them so great ...
Race, Negro

Negro Race

The term negro , derived from the Spanish and the Latin words meaning "black" ( negro; niger ...
Rachel

Rachel

Rachel ("a ewe"), daughter of Laban and younger sister of Lia. The journey of Jacob to the ...
Racine, Jean

Jean Racine

Dramatist, b. a La Ferté-Milon, in the old Duchy of Valois, 20 Dec., 1639; d. in Paris, ...
Rader, Matthew

Matthew Rader

Philologist and historian, born at Innichen in the Tyrol in 1561; died at Munich, 22 December, ...
Radewyns, Florens

Florens Radewyns

Co-founder of the Brethren of the Common Life , b. at Leyderdam, near Utrecht, about 1350; d. at ...
Radowitz, Joseph Maria von

Joseph Maria von Radowitz

Born at Blankenburg, 6 February, 1797; died at Berlin, 25 December, 1853. Radowitz was of ...
Radulph of Rivo

Radulph of Rivo

(or OF TONGRES; RADULPH VAN DER BEEKE) An historian and liturgist, born at Breda, in Dutch ...
Raffeix, Pierre

Pierre Raffeix

Missionary, born at Clermont, 1633; died at Quebec, 1724. He entered the Society of Jesus in ...
Ragueneau, Paul

Paul Ragueneau

Jesuit missionary, b. in Paris, 18 March, 1608; d. 8 Sept., 1680. He entered the Society in ...
Ragusa

Ragusa

DIOCESE OF RAGUSA (EPIDAURUS; RAGUSINA). A bishopric in Dalmatia, suffragan of Zara. The ...
Raich, Johann Michael

Johann Michael Raich

Catholic theologian, born at Ottobeuren in Bavaria, 17 January, 1832; died at Mainz, 28 March, ...
Rail, Altar

Altar Rail

The railing which guards the sanctuary and separates the latter from the body of the church. It ...
Raimondi, Marcantonio

Marcantonio Raimondi

Engraver, b. at Bologna, 1475 (1480?); d. there, 1530 (1534?). He studied under the goldsmith and ...
Rainald of Dassel

Rainald of Dassel

Born probably not before 1115; died in Italy, 14 August, 1167. A younger son of a rich Saxon ...
Rajpootana

Rajpootana

Prefecture Apostolic in India, attached to the Province of Agra, comprises approximately the ...
Ralph Crockett, Venerable

Ven. Ralph Crockett

English martyr, b. at Barton, near Farndon, Cheshire; executed at Chichester, 1 October, 1588. ...
Ralph Milner, Venerable

Venerable Ralph Milner

Layman and martyr, born at Flacsted, Hants, England, early in the sixteenth century; suffered ...
Ralph Sherwin, Blessed

Bl. Ralph Sherwin

English martyr, born 1550 at Rodesley, near Longford, Derbyshire; died at Tyburn, 1 December, ...
Ram, Pierre François Xavier de

Pierre Francois Xavier de Ram

Born at Louvain 2 Sept., 1804; died there 14 May, 1865; Belgian historian and rector of the ...
Ramatha

Ramatha

A titular see in Palestine, suppressed in 1884 by the Roman Curia . It was never an episcopal ...
Rambler, The

The Rambler

A Catholic periodical (not of course to be confused with the older "Rambler", published a ...
Rameau, Jean-Philippe

Jean-Philippe Rameau

Musician, b. at Dijon, Burgundy, 25 Sept., 1683; d. at Paris, 12 Sept., 1764. His father, ...
Ramsey Abbey

Ramsey Abbey

Ramsey Abbey, Huntingdonshire, England, was founded by Ailwine (Ethelwine, Egelwine), a Saxon ...
Ramus, Peter

Peter Ramus

(PIERRE DE LA RAMÉE) Humanist and logician, b. at Cuth in Picardy, 1515; d. in Paris, ...
Rancé, Jean-Armand le Bouthillier de

Jean-Armand Le Bouthillier de Rance

Abbot and reformer of Notre Dame de la Trappe, second son of Denis Bouthillier, Lord of ...
Randall, James Ryder

James Ryder Randall

Journalist and poet, b. 1 Jan., 1839, at Baltimore, Maryland ; d. 15 Jan., 1908 at Augusta, ...
Ransom, Feast of Our Lady of

Feast of Our Lady of Ransom

24 September, a double major, commemorates the foundation of the Mercedarians. On 10 August, ...
Raphael

Raphael (1483-1520)

The most famous name in the history of painting, b. at Urbino, 6 April (or 28 March), 1483; d. at ...
Raphael, Saint

St. Raphael the Archangel

The name of this archangel ( Raphael = " God has healed") does not appear in the Hebrew ...
Raphoe

Raphoe

Diocese of Raphoe (Rapotensis) Comprises the greater part of the Co. Donegal (Gael. Tirconail ...
Rapin, René

Rene Rapin

French Jesuit, born at Tours, 1621; died in Paris, 1687. He entered the Society in 1639, taught ...
Raskolniks

Raskolniks

(Russian raskolnik , a schismatic, a dissenter; from raskol , schism, splitting; that in ...
Rathborne, Joseph

Joseph Rathborne

Priest and controversialist (sometimes erroneously called RATHBONE), born at Lincoln, 11 May, ...
Ratherius of Verona

Ratherius of Verona

He was born about 887; died at Namur 25 April, 974. He belonged to a noble family which lived in ...
Ratio Studiorum

Ratio Studiorum

The term "Ratio Studiorum" is commonly used to designate the educational system of the Jesuits ; ...
Rationale

Rationale

Rational, an episcopal humeral, a counterpart of the pallium, and like it worn over the chasuble. ...
Rationalism

Rationalism

(Latin, ratio -- reason, the faculty of the mind which forms the ground of calculation, i.e. ...
Ratisbon

Ratisbon

DIOCESE OF RATISBON (RATISBONENSIS), also called REGENSBURG. Suffragan of Munich-Freising. It ...
Ratisbonne, Maria Alphonse

Maria Alphonse Ratisbonne

A converted Jew, born at Strasburg on 1 May, 1814; died at Ain Karim near Jerusalem, on 6 May, ...
Ratisbonne, Maria Theodor

Maria Theodor Ratisbonne

A distinguished preacher and writer, and director of the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers, ...
Ratramnus

Ratramnus

(Rathramnus) A Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Corbie, in the present Department of Somme, ...
Ratzeburg, Ancient See of

Ratzeburg

(RACEBURGUM, RACEBURGENSIS.) In Germany, suffragan to Hamburg. The diocese embraced the ...
Ratzinger, Georg

Georg Ratzinger

Political economist and social reformer, b. at Rickering, near Deggendorf, in lower Bavaria, 3 ...
Rauscher

Joseph Othmar Rauscher

Prince- Archbishop of Vienna, born at Vienna, 6 Oct., 1797; died there 24 Nov., 1875. He ...
Ravalli, Antonio

Antonio Ravalli

Missionary, b. in Italy, 1811; d. at St. Mary's, Montana, U. S. A., 2 Oct., 1884. He entered ...
Ravenna

Ravenna

Archdiocese of Ravenna (Ravennatensis) The city of Ravenna is the capital of a province in ...
Ravesteyn, Josse

Josse Ravesteyn

Born about 1506, at Tielt, a small town in Flanders, hence often called T ILETANUS (J ODACUS ...
Ravignan, Gustave Xavier Lacroix de

Gustave Xavier Lacroix de Ravignan

French Jesuit, orator, and author, b. at Bayonne (Basses-Pyrénées), 1 Dec. 1795; ...
Rawes, Henry Augustus

Henry Augustus Rawes

Oblate of St. Charles, hymn-writer and preacher, b. at Easington near Durham, England, 11 Dec., ...
Raymbault, Charles

Charles Raymbault

Missionary, b. in France, 1602; entered the Society of Jesus at Rouen (1621); d. at Quebec, ...
Raymond IV, of Saint-Gilles

Raymond IV

Count of Toulouse and of Tripoli, b. about 1043; d. at Tripoli in 1105. He was the son of ...
Raymond Lully

Raymond Lully

(RAMON LULL) "Doctor Illuminatus", philosopher, poet, and theologian, b. at Palma in Majorca, ...
Raymond Martini

Raymond Martini

Dominican, theologian, Orientalist, b. at Subirats, Catalonia, c. 1220; d. after July, 1284. In ...
Raymond Nonnatus, Saint

St. Raymond Nonnatus

(In Spanish SAN RAMON). Born 1200 or 1204 at Portello in the Diocese of Urgel in Catalonia ...
Raymond of Peñafort, Saint

St. Raymond of Penafort

Born at Villafranca de Benadis, near Barcelona, in 1175; died at Barcelona, 6 January, 1275. He ...
Raymond of Sabunde

Raymond of Sabunde

(SABONDE, SEBON, SEBEYDE, etc.) Born at Barcelona, Spain, towards the end of the fourteenth ...
Raymond VI

Raymond VI

Count of Toulouse, b. 1156; d. 1222; succeeded his father, Raymond V, in 1195. He was a ...
Raymond VII

Raymond VII

Count of Toulouse, son of Raymond VI, b. at Beaucaire, 1197; d. at Milhaud, 1249; had espoused a ...
Raynaldi, Odorico

Odorico Raynaldi

Oratorian, b. at Treviso in 1595; d. at Rome, 22 January, 1671. Of patrician birth, he studied ...
Raynaud, Théophile

Theophile Raynaud

Theologian and writer, b. at Sospello near Nice, 15 Nov., 1583; d. at Lyons, 31 Oct., 1663. He ...
Raynouard, Françpois-Juste-Marie

Francois-Juste-Marie Raynouard

A French poet, dramatist, and philologist, b. at Brignoles, Var, 8 September, 1761; d. at Passy, ...
Reading Abbey

Reading Abbey

Reading Abbey in Surrey, England, was founded by Henry I in 1121, who built it, writes ...
Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

In this article we shall consider: the fact of the Real Presence , which is, indeed, the central ...
Realism, Nominalism, Conceptualism

Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism

These terms are used to designate the theories that have been proposed as solutions of one of the ...
Reason

Reason

GENERAL MEANINGS Both in ordinary life and in philosophical discussions the term reason is of ...
Reason, Age of

Age of Reason

The name given to that period of human life at which persons are deemed to begin to be morally ...
Recanati and Loreto

Recanati and Loreto

DIOCESE OF RECANATI AND LORETO (RECINETENSIS) Province of Ancona, Central Italy, so called ...
Rechab and the Rechabites

Rechab and the Rechabites

Rechab was the father of Jonadab who in 2 Kings 10:15-28 , appears as a fervent supporter of ...
Recollection

Recollection

Recollection, as understood in respect to the spiritual life, means attention to the presence of ...
Reconciliation, Sacrament of

The Sacrament of Penance

Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins ...
Rector

Rector

(From the Latin regere , to rule). Priests who preside over missions or quasi- parishes ...
Rector Potens, Verax Deus

Rector Potens, Verax Deus

The daily hymn for Sext in the Roman Breviary finds its theme in the great heat and light of ...
Recusants, English

English Recusants

The first statute in which the term "Popish Recusants" is used is 35 Eliz. c. 2, "An Act for ...
Red Sea

Red Sea

(Hebrew Yâm-Sûph; Septuagint ‘e ’eruthrà thálassa; ...
Redeemer, Feast of the Most Holy

Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer

The feast is found only in the special calendar of some dioceses and religious orders, and ...
Redeemer, Knights of the

Knights of the Redeemer

A secular community founded in 1608 by the Duke of Mentone, Vincent Gonzaga, on the occasion of ...
Redemption

Redemption

The restoration of man from the bondage of sin to the liberty of the children of God ...
Redemption in the Old Testament

Redemption in the Old Testament

Redemption means either strictly deliverance by payment of a price or ransom, or simply ...
Redemptions, Penitential

Penitential Redemptions

Penitential redemptions are the substitution of exercises (especially alms-deeds), either easier ...
Redemptoristines

Redemptoristines

The cradle of the Redemptoristines is Scala, not far from Amalfi, Italy. Father Thomas Falcoia, of ...
Redemptorists

Redemptorists

(CONGREGATION OF THE MOST HOLY REDEEMER) A society of missionary priests founded by St. ...
Redford, Sebastion

Sebastian Redford

Born 27 April, 1701; died 2 January, 1763. Educated at St. Omer , Watten, and Liège, ...
Redi, Francesco

Francesco Redi

Italian poet, b. at Arezzo, 18 February, 1626; d. at Pisa 1 March, 1698. After taking his ...
Reding, Augustine

Augustine Reding

Prince-Abbot of Einsiedeln and theological writer, born at Lichtensteig, Switzerland, 10 ...
Reductions of Paraguay

Reductions of Paraguay

The Jesuit Reductions of Paraguay, one of the most singular and beautiful creations of Catholic ...
Referendarii

Referendarii

The papal office of the referendarii (from refero , to inform) existed at the Byzantine ...
Reform of a Religious Order

Reform of a Religious Order

Reform of a Religious Order, in the true sense of the word, is a return or bringing back of the ...
Reformation, The

The Reformation

The usual term for the religious movement which made its appearance in Western Europe in the ...
Reformed Churches

Reformed Churches

The name given to Protestant bodies which adopted the tenets of Zwingli and, later, the ...
Refuge, Cities of

Cities of Refuge

Towns which according to the Jewish law enjoyed the right of asylum and to which anyone who had ...
Refuge, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the

Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge

The Institute of Our Lady of Charity was founded (1641) by [St. Jean] Eudes, at Caen, Normandy, ...
Regale, Droit de

Droit de Regale

( jus regaliœ, jus regale, jus deportus; German Regalienrecht ) Droit de Regale ...
Regalia

Regalia

According to the usage current in the British Isles the term regalia is almost always employed to ...
Regeneration

Regeneration

(Latin regeneratio ; Greek anagennesis and paliggenesia ). Regeneration is a ...
Regensburg

Ratisbon

DIOCESE OF RATISBON (RATISBONENSIS), also called REGENSBURG. Suffragan of Munich-Freising. It ...
Regesta, Papal

Papal Regesta

Papal Regesta are the copies, generally entered in special registry volumes, of the papal ...
Reggio dell' Emilia

Reggio Dell' Emilia

DIOCESE OF REGGIO DELL' EMILIA (REGINENSIS) Suffragan of Modena in central Italy. The city is ...
Reggio di Calabria

Reggio di Calabria

ARCHDIOCESE OF REGGIO DI CALABRIA (RHEGIENSIS). Archdiocese in Calabria, southern Italy. The ...
Regina

Regina

DIOCESE OF REGINA (REGINENSIS) A newly created (4 March, 1910) ecclesiastical division, ...
Regina Coeli

Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven)

The opening words of the Eastertide anthem of the Blessed Virgin, the recitation of which is ...
Reginald of Piperno

Reginald of Piperno

Dominican, theologian, companion of St. Thomas Aquinas, b. at Piperno about 1230; d. about 1290. ...
Regino of Prüm

Regino of Prum

Date of birth unknown; d. at Trier in 915. According to the statements of a later era Regino was ...
Regionarii

Regionarii

The name given in later antiquity and the early Middle Ages to those clerics and officials of ...
Regis, John Francis, Saint

St. John Francis Regis

Born 31 January, 1597, in the village of Fontcouverte (department of Aude); died at la Louvesc, 30 ...
Registers, Parochial

Parochial Registers

One having the cure of souls is commanded by Divine precept to know his subjects (Conc. Trid., ...
Regnault, Henri Victor

Henri Victor Regnault

Chemist and physicist, b. at Aachen, 21 July, 1810; d. in Paris, 19 Jan., 1878. Being left an ...
Regulæ Juris

Regulae Juris

("Rules of Law") General rules or principles serving chiefly for the interpretation of laws. ...
Regulars

Regulars

( Latin regula, rule). The observance of the Rule of St. Benedict procured for the monks ...
Reichenau

Reichenau

Reichenau, called Augia Dives in medieval Latin manuscripts and possessing a once ...
Reichensperger, August

August Reichensberger

Politician and author, born at Coblenz, 22 March, 1808; died at Cologne, 16 July, 1895. He studied ...
Reichensperger, Peter

Peter Reichensberger

Jurist and parliamentarian, b. at Coblenz, 28 May, 1810; d. at Berlin, 31 December, 1892. He ...
Reifenstein

Reifenstein

A former Cistercian abbey in Eichsfeld, founded on 1 August, 1162 by Count Ernst of Tonna. It ...
Reiffenstuel, Johann Georg

Johann Georg Reiffenstuel

In religion A NACLETUS Theologian and canonist; b. at Kaltenbrunn (Tegernsee) 2 July, 1641; d. ...
Reims

Reims

ARCHDIOCESE OF REIMS (RHEMENSIS) The Archdiocese of Reims comprises the district of Reims in ...
Reims, Synods of

Synods of Reims

The first synod said to have been held at Reims by Archbishop Sonnatius between 624 and 630 ...
Reinmar of Hagenau

Reinmar of Hagenau

A German minnesinger of the twelfth century, surnamed in the manuscripts der Alte (the old) to ...
Reisach, Carl von

Carl von Reisach

Born at Roth, Bavaria, 7 July, 1800; died in the Redemptorist monastery of Contamine, France, ...
Reisch, Gregor

Gregor Reisch

Born at Balingen in Wurtemberg, about 1467; died at Freiburg, Baden, 9 May, 1525. In 1487 he ...
Relationship

Relationship

(CARNAL AND SPIRITUAL) The theologians understand by relationship in general a certain ...
Relatives, Duties of

Duties of Relatives

The general precept of charity obliging us to love our neighbour as ourselves is of course ...
Relativism

Relativism

Any doctrine which denies, universally or in regard to some restricted sphere of being, the ...
Relics

Relics

The word relics comes from the Latin reliquiae (the counterpart of the Greek leipsana ) ...
Religion

Religion

I. Derivation, Analysis, and Definition. II. Subjective Religion. III. Objective ...
Religion, Virtue of

Virtue of Religion

Of the three proposed derivations of the word "religion", that suggested by Lactantius and ...
Religions, Statistics of

Statistics of Religions

I. DEFINITION This study concerns itself with religious bodies, the number of their members, and ...
Religious Life

Religious Life

I. GENERAL VIEW AND EVANGELICAL IDEA OF THE RELIGIOUS LIFE A. GENERAL VIEW We all have within us ...
Religious Profession

Religious Profession

HISTORICAL VIEW Profession may be considered either as a declaration openly made, or as a state ...
Reliquaries

Reliquaries

It would follow of necessity from the data given in the article RELICS that ...
Remesiana

Remesiana

A titular see in Dacia Mediterranea, suffragan of Sardica. Remesiana is mentioned by the ...
Remigius of Auxerre

Remigius of Auxerre

A Benedictine monk, b. about the middle of the ninth century; d. 908. Remigius, or Remi, was a ...
Remigius, Saint

Saint Remigius

Apostle of the Franks, Archbishop of Reims, b. at Cerny or Laon, 437; d. at Reims, 13 January ...
Remiremont

Remiremont

Vosges, France, monastery and nunnery of the Rule of St. Benedict, founded by Sts. Romaricus ...
Remuzat, Ven. Anne-Madeleine

Anne-Madeleine Remuzat

Born at Marseilles, 29 Nov., 1696; died 15 Feb., 1730. At nine years of age she asked her parents ...
Remy, Abbey of Saint

Abbey of Saint Remy

Founded at Reims before 590. Its early history is very obscure; at first a little chapel ...
Renaissance, The

The Renaissance

The Renaissance may be considered in a general or a particular sense, as (1) the achievements of ...
Renaudot, Eusebius

Eusebius Renaudot

An apologetical writer and Orientalist, b. at Paris, 22 July, 1648; d. there, 1 Sept., 1720. He ...
Renaudot, Théophraste

Theophraste Renaudot

Born at Loudun, 1586; died at Paris, 25 October, 1653. Doctor of the medical faculty at ...
Reni, Guido

Guido Reni

Italian painter, b. at Calvenzano near Bologna, 4 Nov., 1575; d. at Bologna, 18 Aug. 1642. At one ...
Rennes

Rennes

(RHEDONENSIS) Rennes includes the Department of Ille et Vilaine. The Concordat of 1802 ...
Renty, Gaston Jean Baptiste de

Gaston Jean Baptiste de Renty

Born 1611 at the castle of Beni, Diocese of Bayeux in Normandy ; died 24 April, 1649. The only ...
Renunciation

Renunciation

( Latin renuntiare ). A canonical term signifying the resignation of an ecclesiastical ...
Reordinations

Reordinations

I. STATE OF THE QUESTION The Oratorian Jean Morin , in the seventeenth century, and Cardinal ...
Reparation

Reparation

Reparation is a theological concept closely connected with those of atonement and satisfaction, ...
Repington, Philip

Philip Repington

( Also Repyngdon). Cardinal-priest of the title of SS. Nereus and Achilleus, Bishop of ...
Repose, Altar of

Altar of Repose

(Sometimes called less properly sepulchre or tomb, more frequently repository). The altar ...
Reputation (as Property)

Reputation (As Property)

It is certain that a man is indefeasibly the owner of what he has been able to produce by his ...
Requiem, Masses of

Requiem Masses

Masses of Requiem will be treated under the following heads: I. Origins; II. Formulary ; III. ...
Rerum Crerator Optime

Rerum Creator Optime

The hymn for Matins of Wednesday in the Divine Office. It comprises four strophes of four ...
Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor

Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor

The daily hymn for None in the Roman Breviary, comprises (like the hymns for Terce and Sext ...
Rerum Novarum

Rerum Novarum

The opening words and the title of the Encyclical issued by Leo XIII, 15 May, 1891, on the ...
Rescripts, Papal

Papal Rescripts

( Latin re-scribere , "to write back") Rescripts are responses of the pope or a Sacred ...
Reservation

Reservation

The restriction in certain cases by a superior of the jurisdiction ordinarily exercised by an ...
Reserved Cases

Reserved Cases

A term used for sins whose absolution is not within the power of every confessor, but is ...
Residence, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastical Residence

A remaining or abiding where one's duties lie or where one's occupation is properly carried on, ...
Respicius, Tryphon, and Nympha

Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha

Martyrs whose feast is observed in the Latin Church on 10 November. Tryphon is said to have ...
Respighi, Lorenzo

Lorenzo Respighi

Born at Cortemaggiore, Province of Piacenza, 7 October, 1824; died at Rome, 10 December, 1889. He ...
Responsorium

Responsorium

Responsory, or Respond, a series of verses and responses, usually taken from Holy Scripture and ...
Restitution

Restitution

Restitution has a special sense in moral theology. It signifies an act of commutative justice ...
Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Resurrection is the rising again from the dead, the resumption of life. In this article, we shall ...
Resurrection, General

General Resurrection

Resurrection is the rising again from the dead, the resumption of life. The Fourth Lateran ...
Rethel, Alfred

Alfred Rethel

Born at Aachen, 1816; died at Düsseldorf, 1859. He combined in a brilliant and forcible ...
Retreat of the Sacred Heart, Congregation of

Retreat of the Sacred Heart

(DAMES DE LA RETRAITE) Originally founded in 1678 under the name of the Institute of Retreat, ...
Retreats

Retreats

If we call a retreat a series of days passed in solitude and consecrated to practices of ...
Retz, Cardinal de

Cardinal de Retz

ARCHBISHOP OF PARIS Born at the Château of Montmirail, Oct., 1614; died in Paris, 24 ...
Reuben

Ruben (Reuben)

(REUBEN.) A proper name which designates in the Bible : (1) a patriarch; (II) a tribe of ...
Reuchlin, Johannes

Johannes Reuchlin

( Græcized , Capnion). Celebrated German humanist, b. at Pforzheim, Baden, 22 ...
Reumont, Alfred von

Alfred von Reumont

Statesman and historian, b. at Aachen, 15 August, 1808; d. there, 27 April, 1887. After finishing ...
Reusens, Edmond

Edmond Reusens

Archeologist and historian, b. at Wijneghem (Antwerp), 25 April, 1831; d. at Louvain, 25 Dec., ...
Reuss

Reuss

Name of the two smallest states of the German Confederation, which lie almost in the centre of ...
Revelation

Revelation

I. MEANING OF REVELATION Revelation may be defined as the communication of some truth by God ...
Revelation, Book of

Apocalypse

Apocalypse, from the verb apokalypto , to reveal, is the name given to the last book in the ...
Revelations, Private

Private Revelations

There are two kinds of revelations: (1) universal revelations, which are contained in the Bible ...
Revocation

Revocation

The act of recalling or annulling, the reversal of an act, the recalling of a grant, or the making ...
Revolution, English

English Revolution of 1688

James II, having reached the climax of his power after the successful suppression of Monmouth's ...
Revolution, French

French Revolution

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

Rex Gloriose Martyrum

Rex Gloriose Martyrum, the hymn at Lauds in the Common of Martyrs (Commune plurimorum ...
Rex Sempiterne Cælitum

Rex Sempiterne Caelitum

The Roman Breviary hymn for Matins of Sundays and weekdays during the Paschal Time (from ...
Rey, Anthony

Anthony Rey

An educator and Mexican War chaplain, born at Lyons, 19 March, 1807; died near Ceralvo, Mexico, ...
Reynolds, William

William Reynolds

(RAINOLDS, RAYNOLDS, REGINALDUS) Born at Pinhorn near Exeter, about 1544; died at Antwerp, ...
Rhætia

Rhaetia

(RHÆTORUM). Prefecture Apostolic in Switzerland ; includes in general the district ...
Rhaphanæa

Rhaphanaea

A titular see in Syria Secunda, suffragan of Apamea. Rhaphanæa is mentioned in ancient ...
Rheinberger, Joseph Gabriel

Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger

A composer and organist, born at Vaduz, in the Principality of Lichtenstein, Bavaria, 17 March, ...
Rhenish Palatinate

Rhenish Palatinate

( German Rheinpfalz ). A former German electorate. It derives its name from the title of a ...
Rhesæna

Rhesaena

A titular see in Osrhoene, suffragan of Edessa. Rhesæna (numerous variations of the name ...
Rhinocolura

Rhinocolura

A titular see in Augustamnica Prima, suffragan of Pelusium. Rhinocolura or Rhinocorura was a ...
Rhithymna

Rhithymna

(RHETHYMNA) A titular see of Crete, suffragan of Gortyna, mentioned by Ptolemy, III, 15, ...
Rhizus

Rhizus

( Rizous .) A titular see of Pontus Polemoniacus suffragan of Neocæsarea, ...
Rho, Giacomo

Giacomo Rho

Missionary, born at Milan, 1593; died at Peking 27 April, 1638. He was the son of a noble and ...
Rhode Island

Rhode Island

The State of Rhode Island and xxyyyk.htm">Providence Plantations, one of the thirteen original ...
Rhodes

Rhodes

(RHODUS) A titular metropolitan of the Cyclades. It is an island opposite to Lycia and ...
Rhodes, Alexandre De

Alexandre de Rhodes

A missionary and author, born at Avignon, 15 March, 1591; died at Ispahan, Persia, 5 Nov., 1660. ...
Rhodesia

Rhodesia

A British possession in South Africa, bounded on the north and north-west by the Congo Free ...
Rhodiopolis

Rhodiopolis

A titular see of Lycia, suffragan of Myra, called Rhodia by Ptolemy (V, 3) and Stephanus ...
Rhodo

Rhodo

A Christian writer who flourished in the time of Commodus (180-92); he was a native of Asia ...
Rhosus

Rhosus

A titular see in Cilicia Secunda, suffragan to Anazarba. Rhosus or Rhossus was a seaport ...
Rhymed Bibles

Rhymed Bibles

The rhymed versions of the Bible are almost entirely collections of the psalms. The oldest ...
Rhythmical Office

Rhythmical Office

I. DESCRIPTION, DEVELOPMENT, AND DIVISION By rhythmical office is meant a liturgical horary ...
Ribadeneira, Pedro de

Pedro de Ribadeneira

(Or RIBADENEYRA and among Spaniards often RIVADENEIRA) Pedro De Ribadeneira was born at ...
Ribas, Andrés Pérez De

Andres Perez de Ribas

A pioneer missionary, historian of north-western Mexico; born at Cordova, Spain, 1576; died in ...
Ribe, Ancient See of, in Denmark (Jutland)

Ancient See of Ribe in Denmark (Jutland)

(RIPAE, RIPENSIS.) The diocese (29 deaneries, 278 parishes ) consisted of the modern ...
Ribeirao Preto

Preto Ribeirao

(DE RIBERAO PRETO) A suffragan see of the Archdiocese of São Paulo , Brazil, ...
Ribera, Jusepe de

Jusepe de Ribera

Called also SPAGNOLETTO, L'ESPAGNOLET (the little Spaniard) Painter born at Jativa, 12 Jan., ...
Ricardus Anglicus

Ricardus Anglicus

Ricardus Anglicus, Archdeacon of Bologna, was an English priest who was rector of the law ...
Riccardi, Nicholas

Nicholas Riccardi

A theologian, writer and preacher; born at Genoa, 1585; died at Rome, 30 May, 1639. Physically ...
Ricci, Lorenzo

Lorenzo Ricci

General of the Society of Jesus b. at Florence, 2 Aug., 1703; d. at the Castle of Sant' Angelo, ...
Ricci, Matteo

Matteo Ricci

Founder of the Catholic missions of China, b. at Macerata in the Papal States, 6 Oct. 1552; ...
Riccioli, Giovanni Battista

Giovanni Battista Riccioli

Italian astronomer, b. at Ferrara 17 April, 1598; d. at Bologna 25 June, 1671. He entered the ...
Rice, Edmund Ignatius

Edmund Ignatius Rice

Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (better known as "Irish ...
Rich, St. Edmund

St. Edmund Rich

Archbishop of Canterbury, England, born 20 November, c. 1180, at Abingdon, six miles from ...
Richard

Richard (Franciscan Preacher)

A Friar minor and preacher, appearing in history between 1428 and 1431, whose origin and ...
Richard de Bury

Richard de Bury

Bishop and bibliophile, b. near Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk, England, 24 Jan., 1286; d. at ...
Richard de la Vergne, François-Marie-Benjamin

Francois-Marie-Benjamin Richard de la Vergne

Archbishop of Paris, born at Nantes, 1 March, 1819; died in Paris, 28 January, 1908. ...
Richard de Wyche, Saint

St. Richard de Wyche

Bishop and confessor, b. about 1197 at Droitwich, Worcestershire, from which his surname is ...
Richard Fetherston, Blessed

Bl. Richard Fetherston

Priest and martyr ; died at Smithfield, 30 July, 1540. He was chaplain to Catharine of Aragon ...
Richard I, King Of England

Richard I, King of England

Richard I, born at Oxford, 6 Sept, 1157; died at Chaluz, France, 6 April, 1199; was known to ...
Richard of Cirencester

Richard of Cirencester

Chronicler, d. about 1400. He was the compiler of a chronicle from 447 to 1066, entitled "Speculum ...
Richard of Cornwall

Richard of Cornwall

(RICHARD RUFUS, RUYS, ROSSO, ROWSE). The dates of his birth and death are unknown, but he ...
Richard of Middletown

Richard of Middletown

(A MEDIA VILLA). Flourished at the end of the thirteenth century, but the dates of his birth ...
Richard of St. Victor

Richard of St. Victor

Theologian, native of Scotland, but the date and place of his birth are unknown; d. 1173 and ...
Richard Thirkeld, Blessed

Blessed Richard Thirkeld

Martyr ; b. at Coniscliffe, Durham, England ; d. at York, 29 May, 1583. From Queen's College, ...
Richard Whiting, Blessed

Blessed Richard Whiting

Last Abbot of Glastonbury and martyr, parentage and date of birth unknown, executed 15 Nov., ...
Richard, Charles-Louis

Charles-Louis Richard

Theologian and publicist; b. at Blainville-sur-l'Eau, in Lorraine, April, 1711; d. at Mons, ...
Richardson, Ven. William

Ven. William Richardson

( Alias Anderson.) Last martyr under Queen Elizabeth; b. according to Challoner at Vales in ...
Richelieu, Armand-Jean du Plessis, Duke de

Cardinal Richelieu

Cardinal ; French statesman, b. in Paris, 5 September, 1585; d. there 4 December 1642. At first ...
Richmond, Diocese of

Richmond

(RICHMONDENSIS.) Suffragan of Baltimore, established 11 July, 1820, comprises the State of ...
Ricoldo da Monte di Croce

Ricoldo Da Monte di Croce

(PENNINI.) Born at Florence about 1243; d. there 31 October, 1320. After studying in various ...
Riemenschneider, Tillmann

Riemenschneider

One of the most important of Frankish sculptors, b. at Osterode am Harz in or after 1460; d. at ...
Rienzi, Cola di

Cola di Rienzi

(i.e., NICOLA, son of Lorenzo) A popular tribune and extraordinary historical figure. His ...
Rieti

Rieti

(REATINA). Diocese in Central Italy, immediately subject to the Holy See. The city is ...
Rievaulx, Abbey of

Abbey of Rievaulx

(RIEVALL.) Thurston, Archbishop of York, was very anxious to have a monastery of the newly ...
Riffel, Caspar

Caspar Riffel

Historian, b. at Budesheim, Bingen, Germany, 19 Jan., 1807, d. at Mainz, 15 Dec., 1856. He ...
Rigby, John, Saint

St. John Rigby

English martyr ; b. about 1570 at Harrocks Hall, Eccleston, Lancashire; executed at St. Thomas ...
Rigby, Nicholas

Nicholas Rigby

Born 1800 at Walton near Preston, Lancashire; died at Ugthorpe, 7 September, 1886. At twelve years ...
Right

Right

Right, as a substantive (my right, his right), designates the object of justice. When a person ...
Right of Exclusion

Right of Exclusion

(Latin Jus Exclusivæ . The alleged competence of the more important Catholic ...
Right of Option

Right of Option

In canon law an option is a way of obtaining a benefice or a title, by the choice of the new ...
Right of Voluntary Association

Right of Voluntary Association

I. LEGAL RIGHT A voluntary association means any group of individuals freely united for the ...
Rimbert, Saint

St. Rimbert

Archbishop of Bremen - Hamburg, died at Bremen 11 June, 888. It is uncertain whether he was ...
Rimini

Rimini

DIOCESE OF RIMINI (ARIMINUM). Suffragan of Ravenna. Rimini is situated near the coast between ...
Rimini, Council of

Council of Rimini

The second Formula of Sirmium (357) stated the doctrine of the Anomoeans, or extreme Arians. ...
Rimouski

Rimouski

DIOCESE OF RIMOUSKI (SANCTI GERMANI DE RIMOUSKI) Suffragan of Quebec, comprises the counties of ...
Ring of the Fisherman, The

The Ring of Fisherman

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

Rings

Although the surviving ancient rings, proved by their devices, provenance, etc., to be of ...
Rinuccini, Giovanni Battista

Giovanni Battista Rinuccini

Born at Rome, 1592; d. at Fermo, 1653; was the son of a Florentine patrician, his mother being a ...
Rio Negro

Rio Negro

Prefecture Apostolic in Brazil, bounded on the south by a line running westwards from the ...
Rio, Alexis-François

Alexis-Francois Rio

French writer on art, b. on the Island of Arz, Department of Morbihan, 20 May, 1797; d. 17 June, ...
Riobamba

Riobamba

Diocese of (Bolivarensis), suffragan of Quito, Ecuador, erected by Pius IX, 5 January, 1863. ...
Rioja, Francisco de

Francisco de Rioja

A poet, born at Seville, 1583; died at Madrid, 1659. Rioja was a canon in the cathedral at ...
Ripalda, Juan Martínez de

Juan Martinez de Ripalda

Theologian, b. at Pamplona, Navarre, 1594; d. at Madrid, 26 April, 1648. He entered the Society ...
Ripatransone

Ripatransone

(RIPANENSIS). Diocese in Ascoli Piceno, Central Italy. The city is situated on five hills, ...
Ripon, Marquess of

Marquess of Ripon

George Frederick Samuel Robinson, K.G., P.C., G.C.S.I., F.R.S., Earl de Grey, Earl of Ripon, ...
Risby, Richard

Richard Risby

Born in the parish of St. Lawrence, Reading, 1489; executed at Tyburn, London, 20 April, 1534. ...
Rishanger, William

William Rishanger

Chronicler, b. at Rishangles, Suffolk, about ú d. after 1312. He became a Benedictine at ...
Rishton, Edward

Edward Rishton

Born in Lancashire, 1550; died at Sainte-Ménehould, Lorraine, 29 June, 1585. He was ...
Rita of Cascia, Saint

St. Rita of Cascia

Born at Rocca Porena in the Diocese of Spoleto , 1386; died at the Augustinian convent of ...
Rites

Rites

I. NAME AND DEFINITION Ritus in classical Latin in means primarily, the form and manner of any ...
Rites in the United States

Rites in the United States

Since immigration from the eastern portion of Europe and from Asia and Africa set in with ...
Ritschlianism

Ritschlianism

Ritschlianism is a peculiar conception of the nature and scope of Christianity, widely held in ...
Ritter, Joseph Ignatius

Joseph Ignatius Ritter

Historian, b. at Schweinitz, Silesia, 12 April, 1787; d. at Breslau, 5 Jan., 1857. He pursued his ...
Ritual

Ritual

The Ritual ( Rituale Romanum ) is one of the official books of the Roman Rite. It contains all ...
Ritualists

Ritualists

The word "Ritualists" is the term now most commonly employed to denote that advanced section of ...
Rivington, Luke

Luke Rivington

Born in London, May, 1838; died in London, 30 May, 1899; fourth son of Francis Rivington, a ...
Rizal, José Mercado

Jose Mercado Rizal

Filipino hero, physician, poet, novelist, and sculptor ; b. at Calamba, Province of La Laguna, ...
Robbers, Seven

Seven Robbers

(Septem Latrones), martyrs on the Island of Corcyra (Corfu) in the second century. Their ...
Robbia, Andrea della

Andrea Della Robbia

Nephew, pupil, assistant, and sharer of Luca's secrets, b. at Florence, 1431; d. 1528. It is ...
Robbia, Lucia di Simone

Lucia di Simone Robbia

Sculptor, b. at Florence, 1400; d. 1481. He is believed to have studied design with a goldsmith, ...
Robert Bellarmine, Saint

St. Robert Bellarmine

(Also, "Bellarmino"). A distinguished Jesuit theologian, writer, and cardinal, born at ...
Robert Johnson, Blessed

Bl. Robert Johnson

Born in Shropshire, entered the German College, Rome, 1 October, 1571. Ordained priest at ...
Robert of Arbrissel

Robert of Arbrissel

Itinerant preacher, founder of Fontevrault, b. c. 1047 at Arbrissel (now Arbressec) near ...
Robert of Courçon

Robert of Courcon

(DE CURSONE, DE CURSIM, CURSUS, ETC.). Cardinal, born at Kedleston, England ; died at ...
Robert of Geneva

Robert of Geneva

Antipope under the name of Clement VII, b. at Geneva, 1342; d. at Avignon, 16 Sept., 1394. He ...
Robert of Jumièges

Robert of Jumieges

Archbishop of Canterbury (1051-2). Robert Champart was a Norman monk of St. Ouen at Rouen ...
Robert of Luzarches

Robert of Luzarches

(LUS). Born at Luzarches near Pontoise towards the end of the twelfth century; is said to have ...
Robert of Melun

Robert of Melun

(DE MELDUNO; MELIDENSIS; MEIDUNUS). An English philosopher and theologian, b. in England ...
Robert of Molesme, Saint

St. Robert of Molesme

Born about the year 1029, at Champagne, France, of noble parents who bore the names of Thierry ...
Robert of Newminster, Saint

St. Robert of Newminster

Born in the district of Craven, Yorkshire, probably at the village of Gargrave; died 7 June, 1159. ...
Robert Pullus

Robert Pullus

(PULLEN, PULLAN, PULLY.) See also ROBERT PULLEN. Cardinal, English philosopher and ...
Robert, Saint

St. Robert

Founder of the Abbey of Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne, b. at Aurilac, Auvergne, about 1000; d. in ...
Roberts, Saint John

St. John Roberts

First Prior of St. Gregory's, Douai (now Downside Abbey ), b. 1575-6; martyred 10 ...
Robertson, James Burton

James Burton Robertson

Historian, b. in London 15 Nov., 1800; d. at Dublin 14 Feb., 1877, son of Thomas Robertson, a ...
Robinson, Venerable Christopher

Ven. Christopher Robinson

Born at Woodside, near Westward, Cumberland, date unknown; executed at Carlisle, 19 Aug., 1598. ...
Robinson, William Callyhan

William Callyhan Robinson

Jurist and educator, b. 26 July, 1834, at Norwich, Conn.; d. 6 Nov., 1911, at Washington, D.C. ...
Rocaberti, Juan Tomás de

Juan Tomas de Rocaberti

Theologian, b. of a noble family at Perelada, in Catalina, c. 1624; d. at Madrid 13 June, 1699. ...
Rocamadour

Rocamadour

Communal chief town of the canton of Gramat, district of Gourdon, Department of Lot, in the ...
Rocca, Angelo

Angelo Rocca

Founder of the Angelica Library at Rome, b. at Rocca, now Arecevia, near Ancone, 1545; d. at ...
Roch, Saint

St. Roch

Born at Montpellier towards 1295; died 1327. His father was governor of that city. At his birth ...
Rochambeau, Jean-Baptiste-Donatien

Rochambeau

Marshal, b. at Vendôme, France, 1 July, 1725; d. at Thoré, 10 May, 1807. At the age ...
Roche, Alanus de la

Alanus de Rupe (Alanus de la Roche)

( Sometimes DE LA ROCHE). Born about 1428; died at Zwolle in Holland, 8 September, 1475. ...
Rochester, Ancient See of

Rochester

(ROFFA; ROFFENSIS). The oldest and smallest of all the suffragan sees of Canterbury, was ...
Rochester, Blessed John

Bl. John Rochester

Priest and martyr, born probably at Terling, Essex, England, about 1498; died at York, 11 May, ...
Rochester, Diocese of

Rochester

This diocese, on its establishment by separation from the See of Buffalo, 24 January, 1868, ...
Rochet

Rochet

An over-tunic usually made of fine white linen (cambric; fine cotton material is also allowed), ...
Rochette, Désiré Raoul

Desire Raoul Rochette

Usually known as Raoul-Rochette, a French archeologist, b. at St. Amand (Cher), 9 March, 1789; d. ...
Rock, Daniel

Daniel Rock

Antiquarian and ecclesiologist, b. at Liverpool, 31 August, 1799; d. at Kensington, London, 28 ...
Rockford, Diocese of

Rockford

(ROCKFORDIENSIS). Created 23 September, 1908, comprises Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, ...
Rockhampton

Rockhampton

Diocese in Queensland, Australia. In 1862 Father Duhig visited the infant settlement on the banks ...
Rococo Style

Rococo Style

This style received its name in the nineteenth century from French émigrés , who ...
Rodez

Rodez

(RUTHENAE) The Diocese of Rodez was united to the Diocese of Cahors by the Concordat of ...
Rodrigues Ferreira, Alexandre

Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira

A Brazilian natural scientist and explorer, b. at Bahia in 1756; d. at Lisbon in 1815. He ...
Rodriguez, Alonso

Alonso Rodriguez

Born at Valladolid, Spain, 1526; died at Seville 21 February, 1616. When twenty years of age he ...
Rodriguez, Joao

Joao Rodriguez

(GIRAM, GIRAO, GIRON, ROIZ). Missionary and author, b. at Alcochete in the Diocese of Lisbon ...
Rodriguez, Saint Alphonsus

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

(Also Alonso). Born at Segovia in Spain, 25 July, 1532; died at Majorca, 31 October, 1617. ...
Roe, Bartholomew

Bartholomew Roe

(VENERABLE ALBAN). English Benedictine martyr, b. in Suffolk, 1583; executed at Tyburn, 21 ...
Roermond

Roermond

(RUBAEMUNDENSIS). Diocese in Holland ; suffragan of Utrecht. It includes the Province of ...
Rogation Days

Rogation Days

Days of prayer, and formerly also of fasting, instituted by the Church to appease God's anger ...
Roger Bacon

Roger Bacon

Philosopher, surnamed D OCTOR M IRABILIS , b. at Ilchester, Somersetshire, about 1214; d. at ...
Roger Cadwallador, Venerable

Ven. Roger Cadwallador

English martyr, b. at Stretton Sugwas, near Hereford, in 1568; executed at Leominster, 27 Aug., ...
Roger of Wendover

Roger of Wendover

Benedictine monk, date of birth unknown; d. 1236, the first of the great chroniclers of St. ...
Roger, Bishop of Worcester

Roger, Bishop of Worcester

Died at Tours, 9 August, 1179. A younger son of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, he was educated ...
Roh, Peter

Peter Roh

Born at Conthey (Gunthis) in the canton of Valais ( French Switzerland ), 14 August, 1811; d. at ...
Rohault de Fleury

Rohault de Fleury

A family of French architects and archaeologists of the nineteenth century, of which the most ...
Rohrbacher, Réné François

Rene Francois Rohrbacher

Ecclesiastical historian, b. at Langatte (Langd) in the present Diocese of Metz, 27 September, ...
Rojas y Zorrilla, Francisco de

Francisco de Rojas y Zorrilla

Spanish dramatic poet, b. at Toledo, 4 Oct., 1607; d. 1680. Authentic information regarding the ...
Rokewode, John Gage

John Gage Rokewode

Born 13 Sept., 1786; died at Claughton Hall, Lancashire, 14 Oct., 1842. He was the fourth son of ...
Rolduc

Rolduc

(RODA DUCIS, also Roda, Closterroda or Hertogenrade). Located in S. E. Limburg, Netherlands. ...
Rolfus, Hermann

Hermann Rolfus

Catholic educationist, b. at Freiburg, 24 May, 1821; d. at Buhl, near Offenburg, 27 October, ...
Rolle de Hampole, Richard

Richard Rolle de Hampole

Solitary and writer, b. at Thornton, Yorkshire, about 1300; d. at Hampole, 29 Sept., 1349. The ...
Rollin, Charles

Charles Rollin

Born in Paris, 1661; died there, 1741. The son of a cutler, intended to follow his father's ...
Rolls Series

Rolls Series

A collection of historical materials of which the general scope is indicated by its official ...
Rolph, Thomas

Thomas Rolph

Surgeon, b. 1800; d. at Portsmouth, 17 Feb., 1858. He was a younger son of Dr. Thomas Rolph and ...
Roman Catacombs

Roman Catacombs

This subject will be treated under seven heads: I. Position; II. History; III. Inscriptions; IV. ...
Roman Catechism

Roman Catechism

This catechism differs from other summaries of Christian doctrine for the instruction of the ...
Roman Catholic

Roman Catholic

A qualification of the name Catholic commonly used in English-speaking countries by those ...
Roman Catholic Relief Bill

Roman Catholic Relief Bill

IN ENGLAND With the accession of Queen Elizabeth (1558) commenced the series of legislative ...
Roman Christian Cemeteries, Early

Early Roman Christian Cemeteries

This article treats briefly of the individual catacomb cemeteries in the vicinity of Rome. For ...
Roman Colleges

Roman Colleges

This article treats of the various colleges in Rome which have been founded under ...
Roman Congregations

The Roman Congregations

Certain departments have been organized by the Holy See at various times to assist it in the ...
Roman Curia

Roman Curia

Strictly speaking, the ensemble of departments or ministries which assist the sovereign pontiff ...
Roman Processional

Roman Processional

Strictly speaking it might be said that the Processional has no recognized place in the Roman ...
Roman Rite, The

The Roman Rite

( Ritus romanus ). The Roman Rite is the manner of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice, ...
Romanos Pontifices, Constitutio

Consitutio Romanos Pontifices

The restoration by Pius IX, 29 Sept. 1850, by letters Apostolic "Universalis ecclesiæ" of ...
Romanos, Saint

St. Romanos

Surnamed ho melodos and ho theorrhetor , poet of the sixth century. The only authority for ...
Romans, Epistle to the

Epistle To the Romans

This subject will be treated under the following heads: I. The Roman Church and St. Paul; II. ...
Romanus, Pope

Pope Romanus

Of this pope very little is known with certainty, not even the date of his birth nor the exact ...
Romanus, Saints

Saints Romanus

(1) A Roman martyr Romanus is mentioned in the "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 155) ...
Rome

Rome

The significance of Rome lies primarily in the fact that it is the city of the pope. The Bishop ...
Rome, University of

University of Rome

The University of Rome must be distinguished from the "Studium Generale apud Curiam", established ...
Romero, Juan

Juan Romero

Missionary and Indian linguist, b. in the village of Machena, Andalusia, Spain, 1559; d. at ...
Romuald, Saint

St. Romuald

Born at Ravenna, probably about 950; died at Val-di-Castro, 19 June, 1027. St. Peter Damian, his ...
Romulus Augustulus

Romulus Augustulus

Deposed in the year 476, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire. His reign was purely ...
Ronan, Saint

St. Ronan

There are twelve Irish saints bearing the name of Ronan commemorated in the "Martyrology of ...
Ronsard, Pierre de

Pierre de Ronsard

French poet, b. 2 (or 11) Sept., 1524, at the Château de la Poissonniere, near ...
Rood

Rood

(Anglo-Saxon Rod, or Rode, "cross"), a term, often used to signify the True Cross itself, ...
Roothaan, Johann Philipp

Johann Philipp Roothaan

Twenty-first General of the Society of Jesus , b. at Amsterdam, 23 November, 1785; d. at Rome, ...
Roper, William

William Roper

Biographer of St. Thomas More, born 1496; died 4 January, 1578. Both his father and mother ...
Rorate Coeli

Rorate Coeli

(Vulgate, text), the opening words of Isaiah 45:8 . The text is used frequently both at Mass and ...
Rosa, Salvatore

Salvatore Rosa

(Also spelled SALVATOR; otherwise known as RENNELLA, or ARENELLA, from the place of his birth). ...
Rosalia, Saint

St. Rosalia

Hermitess, greatly venerated at Palermo and in the whole of Sicily of which she in patroness. ...
Rosary, Breviary Hymns of the

Breviary Hymns of the Rosary

The proper office granted by Leo XIII (5 August, 1888) to the feast contains four hymns ...
Rosary, Confraternity of the

Confraternity of the Holy Rosary

In accordance with the conclusion of the article ROSARY no sufficient evidence is forthcoming to ...
Rosary, Feast of the Holy

Feast of the Holy Rosary

Apart from the signal defeat of the Albigensian heretics at the battle of Muret in 1213 which ...
Rosary, Seraphic

Franciscan Crown

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

The Rosary

Please see our How to Recite the Holy Rosary sheet in PDF format, and feel free to copy and ...
Rosate, Alberico de

Alberico de Rosate

(Or ROSCIATE). Jurist, date of birth unknown; died in 1354. He was bom in the village of ...
Roscelin

Roscelin

Roscelin, a monk of Compiègne, was teaching as early as 1087. He had contact with ...
Roscommon

Roscommon

Capital of County Roscommon, Ireland ; owes origin and name to a monastery founded by St. Coman ...
Rose of Lima, Saint

St. Rose of Lima

Virgin, patroness of America, born at Lima, Peru 20 April, 1586; died there 30 August, 1617. ...
Rose of Viterbo, Saint

St. Rose of Viterbo

Virgin, born at Viterbo, 1235; died 6 March, 1252. The chronology of her life must always remain ...
Rose Window

Rose Window

A circular window, with mullions and traceries generally radiating from the centre, and filled ...
Rosea

Rosea

A titular see. The official catalogue of the Roman Curia mentioned formerly a titular see of ...
Roseau

Roseau

(ROSENSIS). Diocese ; suffragan of Port of Spain, Trinidad, B.W.I. The different islands of ...
Rosecrans, William Starke

William Starke Rosecrans

William Born at Kingston, Ohio, U.S.A. 6 Sept., 1819; died near Redondo California, 11 March, ...
Roseline, Saint

St. Roseline

(Rossolina.) Born at Château of Arcs in eastern Provence, 1263; d. 17 January, 1329. ...
Rosenau

Rosenau

( Hungarian ROZSNYÓ; Latin ROSNAVIENSIS). Diocese in Hungary, suffragan of Eger, ...
Rosh Hashanah

Feast of Trumpets

The first day of Tishri (October), the seventh month of the Hebrew year. Two trumpets are ...
Rosicrucians

Rosicrucians

The original appelation of the alleged members of the occult-cabalistic- theosophic "Rosicrucian ...
Roskilde, Ancient See of, in Denmark

Ancient See of Roskilde in Denmark

(ROSCHILDIA, ROSKILDENSIS.) Suffragan to Hamburg, about 991-1104, to Lund, 1104-1536. The ...
Roskoványi, August

August Roskovanyi

Bishop of Neutra in Hungary, doctor of philosophy and theology, b. at Szenna in the County ...
Rosmini and Rosminianism

Rosmini and Rosminianism

Antonio Rosmini Serbati, philosopher, and founder of the Institute of Charity, born 24 March, ...
Rosminians

Rosminians

The Institute of Charity, or, officially, Societas a charitate nuncupata , is a religious ...
Ross

Ross

(ROSSENSIS). Diocese in Ireland. This see was founded by St. Fachtna, and the place-name ...
Ross, School of

School of Ross

The School of Ross &151; now called Ross-Carbery, but formerly Ross-Ailithir from the large ...
Rossano

Rossano

(ROSSANENSIS). Archdiocese in Calabria, province of Cosenza, Southern Italy. The city is ...
Rosselino, Antonio di Matteo di Domenico

Antonio di Matteo di Domenico Rosselino

The youngest of five brothers, sculptors and stone cutters, family name Gamberelli (1427-78). He ...
Rosselino, Bernardo

Bernardo Rosselino

(Properly BERNARDO DI MATTEO GAMBARELLI.) B. at Florence, 1409; d. 1464. Rosselino occupies ...
Rosselli, Cosimo

Cosimo Rosselli

(LORENZO DI FILIPPO). Italian fresco painter, b. at Florence, 1439; d. there in 1507. The ...
Rossi, Bernardo de

Bernardo de Rossi

(DE RUBEIS, GIOVANNI FRANCESCO BERNARDO MARIA). Theologian and historian; b. at Cividale del ...
Rossi, Giovanni Battista de

Giovanni Battista de Rossi

A distinguished Christian archaeologist , best known for his work in connection with the Roman ...
Rossi, Pellegrino

Pellegrino Rossi

Publicist, diplomat, economist, and statesman, b. at Carrara, Italy, 13 July, 1787; assassinated ...
Rossini, Gioacchino Antonio

Gioacchino Antonio Rossini

Born 29 February, 1792, at Pesaro in the Romagna; died 13 November, 1868, at Passy, near Paris. ...
Rostock, Sebastian von

Sebastian von Rostock

Bishop of Breslau, b. at Grottkau, Silesia, 24 Aug. 1607; d. at Breslau, 9 June, 1671. He ...
Rostock, University of

University of Rostock

Located in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, founded in the year 1419 through the united efforts of Dukes John ...
Roswitha

Hroswitha

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

Sacra Romana Rota

In the Constitution "Sapienti Consilio" (29 June, 1908), II, 2, Pins X re-established the Sacra ...
Roth, Heinrich

Heinrich Roth

Missionary in India and Sanskrit scholar, b. of illustrious parentage at Augsburg, 18 December, ...
Rothe, David

David Rothe

Bishop of Ossory ( Ireland ), b. at Kilkenny in 1573, of a distinguished family ; d. 20 ...
Rottenburg

Rottenburg

(ROTTENBURGENSIS). Diocese ; suffragan of the ecclesiastical Province of the Upper Rhine. It ...
Rotuli

Rotuli

Rotuli, i.e. rolls — in which a long narrow strip of papyrus or parchment, written on one ...
Rouen, Archdiocese of

Rouen

(ROTHOMAGENSIS) Revived by the Concordat of 1802 with the Sees of Bayeux, Evreux, and ...
Rouen, Synods of

Synods of Rouen

The first synod is generally believed to have been held by Archbishop Saint-Ouen about 650. ...
Rouquette, Adrien

Adrien Rouquette

Born in Louisiana in 1813, of French parentage; died as a missionary among the Choctaw Indians ...
Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste

Jean-Baptiste Rousseau

French poet, b. in Paris, 16 April 1670; d. at La Genette, near Brussels, 17 May, 1741. ...
Rovezzano, Benedetto da

Benedetto Da Rovezzano

Sculptor and architect, b. in 1490, either at Rovezzano, near Florence, or, according to some ...
Rowsham, Stephen

Stephen Rowsham

A native of Oxfordshire, entered Oriel College, Oxford, in 1572. He took orders in the English ...
Royal Declaration, The

The Royal Declaration

This is the name most commonly given to the solemn repudiation of Catholicity which, in ...
Royer-Collard, Pierre-Paul

Pierre-Paul Royer-Collard

Philosopher and French politician, b. at Sompuis (Marne), 21 June, 1763; d. at ...
Ruadhan, Saint

St. Ruadhan

One of the twelve "Apostles of Erin" ; died at the monastery of Lorrha, County Tipperary, ...
Ruben

Ruben (Reuben)

(REUBEN.) A proper name which designates in the Bible : (1) a patriarch; (II) a tribe of ...
Rubens, Peter Paul

Peter Paul Rubens

Eminent Flemish painter, b. at Siegen, Westphalia, 28 June, 1577; d. at Antwerp, 30 May, 1640. ...
Rubrics

Rubrics

I. IDEA Among the ancients, according to Columella, Vitruvius, and Pliny, the word rubrica , ...
Rubruck, William

William Rubruck

(Also called William of Rubruck and less correctly Ruysbrock, Ruysbroek, and Rubruquis), ...
Rudolf of Fulda

Rudolf of Fulda

Chronicler, d. at Fulda, 8 March, 862. In the monastery of Fulda Rudolf entered the ...
Rudolf of Habsburg

Rudolf of Habsburg

German king, b. 1 May 1218; d. at Speyer, 15 July, 1291. He was the son of Albert IV, the founder ...
Rudolf of Rüdesheim

Rudolf of Rudesheim

Bishop of Breslau, b. at Rüdesheim on the Rhine, about 1402; d. at Breslau in Jan., 1482. ...
Rudolf von Ems

Rudolf von Ems

[Hohenems in Austria ]. A Middle High German epic poet of the thirteenth century. Almost ...
Rueckers, Family of

Family of Rueckers

Famous organ and piano-forte builders of Antwerp. Hans Rueckers, the founder, lived in ...
Ruffini, Paolo

Paolo Ruffini

Physician and mathematician, b. at Valentano in the Duchy of Castro, 3 Sept., 1765; d. at Modena, ...
Rufford Abbey

Rufford Abbey

A monastery of the Cistercian Order, situated on the left bank of the Rainworth Water, about ...
Rufina, Saints

Sts. Rufina

The present Roman Martyrology records saints of this name on the following days: (1) On ...
Rufinus, Saint

Saints Rufinus

The present Roman Martyrology records eleven saints named Rufinus: (1) On 28 February, a ...
Rufus, Saint

Saints Rufus

The present Roman Martyrology records ten saints of this name. Historical mention is made of ...
Ruiz de Alarcón y Mendoza, Juan de

Juan de Ruiz de Alarcon y Mendoza

Spanish dramatic poet, b. at Mexico City, about 1580; d. at Madrid, 4 August, 1639. He received ...
Ruiz de Montoya, Antonio

Antonio Ruiz de Montoya

One of the most distinguished pioneers of the original Jesuit mission in Paraguay, and a ...
Ruiz de Montoya, Diego

Diego Ruiz de Montoya

Theologian, b. at Seville, 1562; d. there 15 March, 1632. He entered the Society of Jesus in ...
Rule of Faith, The

The Rule of Faith

The word rule ( Latin regula , Gr. kanon ) means a standard by which something can be ...
Rule of St. Augustine

Rule of St. Augustine

The title, Rule of Saint Augustine , has been applied to each of the following documents: ...
Rule of St. Benedict

Rule of St. Benedict

This work holds the first place among monastic legislative codes, and was by far the most ...
Rumania

Rumania

A kingdom in the Balkan Peninsula, situated between the Black Sea, the Danube, the Carpathian ...
Rumohr, Karl Friedrich

Karl Friedrich Rumohr

Art historian, b. at Dresden, 1785; d. there, 1843. He became a Catholic in 1804. He was ...
Rupe, Alanus de

Alanus de Rupe (Alanus de la Roche)

( Sometimes DE LA ROCHE). Born about 1428; died at Zwolle in Holland, 8 September, 1475. ...
Rupert, Saint

St. Rupert

(Alternative forms, Ruprecht, Hrodperht, Hrodpreht, Roudbertus, Rudbertus, Robert, Ruprecht). ...
Rusaddir

Rusaddir

A titular see of Mauritania Tingitana. Rusaddir is a Phoenician settlement whose name ...
Rusicade

Rusicade

A titular see of Numidia. It is mentioned by Ptolemy (IV, 3), Mela (I, 33), Pliny (V, 22), ...
Ruspe

Ruspe

Titular see of Byzacena in Africa, mentioned only by Ptolemy (IV, 3) and the "Tabula" of ...
Russell, Charles

Charles Russell

(BARON RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN). Born at Newry, Ireland, 10 November, 1832; died in London, 10 ...
Russell, Charles William

Charles William Russell

Born at Killough, Co. Down, 14 May, 1812; died at Dublin 26 Feb., 1880. He was descended from the ...
Russell, Richard

Richard Russell

Bishop of Vizéu in Portugal, b. in Berkshire, 1630; d. at Vizéu, 15 Nov., 1693. He ...
Russia

Russia

GEOGRAPHY Russia ( Rossiiskaia Imperiia; Russkoe Gosudarstvo ) comprises the greater part of ...
Russia, The Religion of

The Religion of Russia

A. The Origin of Russian Christianity There are two theories in regard to the early Christianity ...
Russian Language and Literature

Russian Language and Literature

The subject will be treated under the following heads, viz. RUSSIAN LANGUAGE; ANCIENT POPULAR ...
Rusticus of Narbonne, Saint

St. Rusticus of Narbonne

Born either at Marseilles or at Narbonnaise, Gaul; died 26 Oct., 461. According to biographers, ...
Ruth, Book of

Book of Ruth

One of the proto-canonical writings of the Old Testament, which derives its name from the heroine ...
Ruthenian Rite

Ruthenian Rite

There is, properly speaking, no separate and distinct rite for the Ruthenians, but inasmuch as ...
Ruthenians

Ruthenians

(Ruthenian and Russian: Rusin , plural Rusini ) A Slavic people from Southern Russia, ...
Rutter, Henry

Henry Rutter

( vere BANISTER) Born 26 Feb., 1755; died 17 September, 1838, near Dodding Green, ...
Ruvo and Bitonto

Ruvo and Bitonto

(RUBENSIS ET BITUNTINENSIS) Diocese in the Province of Bari, Aquileia, Southern Italy. Ruvo, ...
Ruysbroeck, Blessed John

Blessed John Ruysbroeck

Surnamed the Admirable Doctor, and the Divine Doctor, undoubtedly the foremost of the Flemish ...
Ruysch, John

John Ruysch

Astronomer, cartographer, and painter, born at Utrecht about 1460; died at Cologne, 1533. Little ...
Ryan, Father Abram J.

Father Abram J. Ryan

The poet-priest of the South, born at Norfolk, Virginia, 15 August, 1839; died at Louisville, ...
Ryan, Patrick John

Patrick John Ryan

Sixth Bishop and second Archbishop of Philadelphia, b. At Thurles, County Tipperary, ...
Ryder, Henry Ignatius Dudley

Henry Ignatius Dudley Ryder

English Oratorian priest and controversialist, b. 3 Jan., 1837; d. at Edgbaston, Birmingham, 7 ...
Ryken, Theodore James

Theodore James Ryken

Known as B ROTHER F RANCIS X AVIER , founder of the Xaverian Brothers. Born at Elshout, ...

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