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Jacopone da Todi

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(Properly called JACOPO BENEDICTI or BENEDETTI).

Franciscan poet, born at Todi in the first half of the thirteenth century; died at Collazzone about 1306. Very little is known with certainty about the life of this extraordinary man. Although the oldest lives go back only to the fifteenth century, yet a few earlier records exist. The oldest and most authentic document we have is Jacopone's signature to the manifesto of Cardinals Jacopo and Pietro Colonna against Boniface VIII, dated Lunghezza (between Rome and Tivoli ), 10 May, 1297. [See text in "Archiv für Litteratur and Kirchengesch.", V (1889), 509 sq.] Angelo Clareno in his "Chronica septem Tribulationum", written about 1323 ["Archiv f. Litt. u. Kirchengesch.", II (1886), 308; Döllinger, "Beitrage zur Sektengesch.", II (Munich, 1890), 492], mentions Jacobus Tudertus among those spiritual friars who, in 1294, sent a deputation to Celestine V , to ask permission to live separate from the other friars and observe the Franciscan Rule in its perfection -- a request which was granted. The next reference to the poet is found in Alvarus Pelagius's "De Planctu Ecclesiae", written principally in 1330; he quotes two of Jacopone's sayings (lib. II, cc. lxxiii and lxxvi; ed. Venice, 1560, f. 196 r b, and f. 204 r b), and calls him a perfect Friar Minor . This passage occurs also in "Chronica XXIV generalium" ("Analecta Franciscana", III, Quaracchi, 1897, 460), which was compiled in great part before 1369 and completed in 1374. About 1335 the "Catalogus sanctorum Fratrum Minorum" (in "Speculum Vitae beati Francisci et Sociorum eius", Venice, 1504, f. 200 r; cf. the separate reprint of the "Catalogus" by Lemmens, Rome, 1903, 9) uses even more emphatic words of praise. Some further details about Jacopone are given by Bartholomew of Pisa in 1385 ["Liber conformitatum" (ed. Milan, 1510), fructus VIII, pars ii, f. 60 v a to f. 61 v a; cf. "Analecta Franciscana", IV (Quaracchi, 1906), 235-40]. It may be taken for granted that all these writers knew nothing of the detailed lives of Jacopone which appear in the fifteenth century. The "Chronica XXIV generalium" and Bartholomew of Pisa would certainly have inserted one or other, as they were wont to do in other cases. Those lives can all be reduced to one, inserted in the chronicle commonly called "Franceschina", attributed to Jacopo Oddi, O.F.M. (d. 1488; see bibliography). The historical value of this and similar lives has been recntly denied by Giulio Bertoni ("La Leggenda Jacoponica" in "Fanfulla della Domenica", Rome, 10 June, 1906), on the ground that this legend has too many points of resemblance with the "Legends of St. Francis". But these resemblancs between the lives of the saints have already become a commonplace, and in this case are not to be taken seriously. On the other hand, Bertoni is right in rejecting the description of the circumstances in which each poem of Jacopone was written. The part of his life is rather to be considered as a commentary on the poems of Jacopone. As to the real sources of his life, the author himself, in the Tobler version (see bibliography), points out that he has collected the reminiscences and traditions concerning Jacopone still extant among the older friars in the Umbrian converts of his epoch.

With the help of the aforesaid sources and of some allusions in Jacopone's poems, we can gather the following facts of his life. Born at Todi (1228?), of the noble family of Benedetti, Jacopone took up the study of law -- probably at Bologna, as might be inferred from the fact that this was the most famous school of law at the time, and from the manner in which he speaks of Bologna in the poem "Senno me pare e cortesia" (Modio, "I Cantici del B. Jacopone da Todi", Rome, 1558, 109). On returning home, he exercised -- the legends say with some avarice -- the profession of an advocate ( procuratore ). In course of time (1267?) he married a noblewoman, who in one version of the legend is called Vanna, daughter of Bernardino, Count of Collemedio (Coldimezzo near Todi ) (La Verna, IV, 1906, 386). It was the great piety and the tragical death of his young spouse that brought about an entire change in Jacopone. A great feast was being celebrated at Todi -- probably in 1268. Among the onlookers was Jacopone's wife in rich array. Suddenly the raised platform from which she was witnessing the spectacle gave way, crushing her fatally. When the poet reached her side Vanna was already dying; on opening her dress, he found a hair cloth beneath the splendid robes. The terrible blow caused by his wife's death, together with the evidence of her secret penance for his sins, made such an impression on Jacopone that for many years he seemed to be no longer himself. Abandoning his profession, and wearing the habit of a Franciscan Tertiary ( bizochone ), he led a roaming life for a full decade (see the poem "Que farai fra Jacopone" in Modio, 73). During this period he was the terror of his friends and relations, and became a sort of Christian Diogenes. It was then probably that the former proud doctor of law, Jacopo dei Benedetti, mocked and scoffed at by the boys in the streets of Todi, received the nickname of Jacopone. Once, saddled and bridled like an ass, he crawled on all fours in the public square of Todi ; on another occasion, to the great confusion of his family, he appeared at a wedding in his brother's house, tarred and feathered from top to toe. When asked by a citizen to carry home a pair of capons for him, Jacopone brought them to the man's family tomb, saying that this was his true house. Jacopone's folly was however the folly of the Cross, as he says:


Senno me pare e cortesia
Empazir per lo bel Messia.
(A wise and courteous choice he'd make
Who'd be a fool for the dear Lord's sake.)

About 1278 he sought admission into the Order of Friars Minor at his native town, a request which after some difficuly was granted. Out of humility he chose to be a lay brother. In the great convent of S. Fortunato, at Todi, the so-called party of the "Community" of the Franciscan Order certainly prevailed. This party was strongly opposed to that of the more zealous friars, called the "Spirituals". The sympathies of Jacopone were with the latter. Boniface VIII, who had under unusual circumstances succeeded Celestine V , the friend of Spirituals, having recalled all privileges granted by his predecessor and thus subjected anew the zealous friars to their regular superiors, and having engaged in a struggle with the two Cardinals Colonna, Jacopone took sides with these two protectors of the Spirituals against the pope. Perhaps there were also personal reasons for enmity between Boniface and the poet, dating from the time when the former, then a young man (1260), obtained an ecclesiastical benefice at Todi, where his uncle Peter was bishop from 1252 to 1276 (see Eubel, "Hierarchia cath. med. aevi", I, 530; Tosti, "Storia di Bonifazio VIII", Monte Cassino, I, 1846, 221; Finke, "Aus den Tagen Bonifaz VIII", Münster, 1902, 4). Palestrina, the stronghold of the Colonnas, having been taken in 1298 by the papal troops, Jacopone was imprisoned in the fortress above the town, known today as Castel San Pietro. Some of Jacopone's most touching, and also most agressive, poems were composed in this dungeon. Not even in the great Jubilee of 1300 did Jacopone obtain pardon, the Colonnas and their partisans having been excluded from the Jubilee by a special Bull (see text in Tosti, l.c., II, 283). Boniface VIII was captured at Anagni on 7 Sept., 1303, and upon his death, which occured shortly afterwards (11 Oct.), Jacopone was set at liberty. Now an old man, broken down, tried and purified by hardships, he withdrew first to Pantanelli, a hermitage on the Tiber, three hours distant from Orvieto (La Verna, l. c., 390), then to Collazzone, a small town situated on a hill between Perugia and Todi. There is no record of a Franciscan monastery at that place, but there was a Poor Clare Convent, S. Lorenzo, served as was usual by Franciscan Friars (see Livarius Oliger, "Dove e morto il B. Jacopone da Todi?" in "Voce di S. Antonio", Quaracchi, 13 Feb., 1907). It was here that Jacopone died on 25 Dec., 1306, just at the moment when the priest was intoning the Gloria in Excelsis Deo at the midnight Mass; his last moments were consoled by the presence of his faithful friend, Blessed John of La Verna, from whom he had especially desired to receive the Last Sacraments, and who really arrived just before the poet's death.

His body was brought to Todi and buried in the church of the Poor Clares of Montecristo (Tobler's version of the legend) or Montesanto ( Bartholomew of Pisa, Marianus Florentinus), outside the walls of Todi. In 1433 it was discovered in Montecristo and removed to the Franciscan church of S. Fortunato inside the town, where his tomb is still to be seen, embellished by Bishop Cesi in 1596 and adorned by a beautiful inscription: "Ossa. Beati Jacoponi. De Benedictis. Tudertini. Fratris Ordinis Minorum. Qui stultus propter Christum. Nova mundum arte delusit. Et caelum rapuit. Obdormivit in Domino. Die XXV Martii. An. Dom. MCCXCVI. Ang. Caes. Episc. Tudert. Hic collocavit ann. MDXCVI." "Here lie the bones of Blessed Jacopone dei Benedetti da Todi, Friar Minor, who, having gone mad with love of Christ, by a new artifice deceived the world and took Heaven by violence... (translation of Knox Little.) The date, 25 March, 1296, is however obviously erroneous. Jacopone is often called blessed, and has been considered a "blessed" or a "saint", in the technical sense of the words, by different authors. As a matter of fact, Jacopone has not been beatified or canonized by the Church, although various efforts have been made in this direction -- for example, by the municipal council of Todi in 1628, and by the chapter of the cathedral of Todi in 1676. Lastly, in the years 1868 and 1869 the postulator of the causes of saints of the Friars Minor collected call the documents proving the cultus ab immemorabili paid to Jacopone, in order to obtain its official confirmation [see "Tudertina Confirmationis Cultus ab immemorabili tempore praestiti Jacobo a Tuderto Ord. Min. S. Francisci, Beato Jacopone vulgo nuncupato (Rome, 1869), in archives of the postulator general O.F.M.]. The chief obstacle to the confirmation of the cultus lies in the part Jacopone took against Boniface VIII and the satires he wrote against this much calumniated pope.

The iconography of Jacopone is not very rich. In the cathedral of Prato is a beautiful fifteenth-century fresco, often reproduced. The fourteenth-century Codex Strozzi 174 at the Laurentian Library, Florence, containts a miniature of the poet; another miniature (certainly conventional) is found in the "Franceschina" of the Portiuncula. The church of S. Fortunato of Todi is adorned by two pictures of Jacopone -- one over his tomb (1596), another in a side chapel together with the portraits of four other saints (seventeenth century). Jacopone was believed to have died not so much from bodily ailment as from the excess of Divine love, which at last broke his heart (Modio, preface). The chief interest attaching to Jacopone is derived from his literary works. Of his poems, written almost all in his native Umbrian dialect, seven early editions exist but no modern critical one.

  • The first is printed at Florence, 1490. It is almost a critical edition and contains 102 Italian pieces. [See accurate description in "Miscellanea Francescana", I (Foligno, 1886), 21-29.] The other editons are:
  • Brescia, 1495, containing (in addition to compositions of other poets) 122 poems, of which seven are in Latin;
  • Venice, 1514 -- 139 songs;
  • Venice, 1556 -- repetition of the preceding;
  • Rome, 1558 -- by Modio, with life of Jacopone in the preface, best edition after that of 1490, which it follows in the number of poems (102);
  • Naples, 1615 -- reprint of the Roman edition with slight alterations;
  • Venice, 1617 -- by Francesco Tresatti, O.F.M. -- the best known by least critical edition, containing 211 copiously annotated songs, many of which certainly do not belong to Jacopone.
Alessandro de Mortara published a few hitherto unedited poems of Jacopone (Lucca, 1819). Towards the middle of the nineteenth century, Ozanam revived general interest in Jacopone by his "Poètes franciscains". Since then many have written on the subject and expressed their appreciation of these medieval songs. Jacopone was certainly a true poet, so much so that some of his productions, as "In foco l'amor mi mise" and "Amor di caritate", have been attributed to St. Francis himself. Both are at the head of Umbrian poets. Jacopone's rhymes, simple, at times even rough in expression, but profound and tender in sentiment, were less adapted to the cultured classes than the "Divina Commedia" of Dante, but were sung with enthusiasm by the people. How much Jacopone's poetry was appreciated down to the seventeenth century is shown by the numberless manuscripts which contain them, often in the particular dialect of the region where they were written, and by the fact that almost every old Italian spiritual song has been ascribed to him. These laudi were especially in use among the so-called Laudesi and the Flagellants, who sang them in the towns, along the roads, in their confraternities, and in sacred dramatical representations. Even the "Stabat Mater Dolorosa", the authorship of which is still attributed to Jacopone with greater probability than to any other competitor (Gihr), was sung in the same way. (See, on this point, D' Ancona, "Origini del Teatro Italiano", I, Turin, 1891, 114, 155-62, 550- 2.)

Jacopone's prose works are much less generally known than his poems. They consist mainly of small spiritual treatises, somewhat resembling the well-known golden saying of Blessed Giles (see ÆGIDIUS OF ASSISI), but they are more connected. The Latin text of these may be found in part in Bartholomew of Pisa (l. c.) and in many manuscripts. An Italian version, translated from Bartholomew of Pisa , is found in the "Franceschina" and some other versions of the life of Jacopone. Another fifteenth century Italian version, ascribed to Feo Belcari, together with the treatises of Ugo Panciera at Venice (s. d.); ed. Parenti at Modena in 1832; and finally in "Prose di Feo Belcari edite ed inedite", III (Rome, 1843), by Gigli; cf. E. Böhmer in "Romanische Studien", I (Halle, 1871), 123-32. Finke (l. c.) suspects that a treatise in the manuscript J 491, no. 799, in the National Archives of Paris, and directed to the King of France by "Illiteratus Jacob ", belongs to Jacopone.

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Jesus Christ, Chronology of the Life of

Chronology of the Life of Jesus Christ

In the following paragraphs we shall endeavour to establish the absolute and relative chronology ...
Jesus Christ, Devotion to the Heart of

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The treatment of this subject is divided into two parts: I. Doctrinal Explanations;II. Historical ...
Jesus Christ, Early Historical Documents on

Early Historical Documents On Jesus Christ

The historical documents referring to Christ's life and work may be divided into three classes: ...
Jesus Christ, Genealogy of

Genealogy of Christ

It is granted on all sides that the Biblical genealogy of Christ implies a number of exegetical ...
Jesus Christ, Holy Name of

Holy Name of Jesus

We give honour to the Name of Jesus, not because we believe that there is any intrinsic power ...
Jesus Christ, Knowledge of

Knowledge of Jesus Christ

" Knowledge of Jesus Christ," as used in this article, does not mean a summary of what we know ...
Jesus Christ, Origin of the Name of

The Name of Jesus Christ

In this article, we shall consider the two words which compose the Sacred Name. JESUS The word ...
Jesus Christ, Resurrection of

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

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

Religious of Jesus Mary

The Congregation of the Religious of Jesus Mary was founded at Lyons, France, in October, 1818, by ...
Jesus, Daughters of

Daughters of Jesus

Founded at Kermaria, in the Diocese of Vannes , France, in 1834, for the care of the sick poor, ...
Jesus, The Society of

The Jesuits (The Society of Jesus)

(Company of Jesus, Jesuits) See also DISTINGUISHED JESUITS , JESUIT APOLOGETIC, EARLY JESUIT ...
Jewish Calendar

Jewish Calendar

Days From the remotest time to the present the Israelites have computed the day ( yôm ...
Jewish Tribe

Jewish Tribe

( Phyle, tribus .) The earlier Hebrew term rendered in our English versions by the word ...
Jews (as a Religion)

Judaism

At the present day, the term designates the religious communion which survived the destruction of ...
Jews, History of the

History of the Jews

( Yehúd`m; Ioudaismos ). Of the two terms, Jews and Judaism , the former denotes ...
Jezabel

Jezabel

( Septuagint, 'Iezabél, ). Wife of Achab, King of Israel. She was the daughter of ...
Joachim of Flora

Joachim of Flora

Cistercian abbot and mystic; b. at Celico, near Cosenza, Italy, c. 1132; d. at San Giovanni in ...
Joachim, Saint

St. Joachim

Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares ), was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. If we ...
Joan of Arc, Saint

St. Joan of Arc

In French Jeanne d'Arc ; by her contemporaries commonly known as la Pucelle (the Maid). ...
Joan, Popess

Pope Joan

The fable about a female pope, who afterwards bore the name of Johanna (Joan), is first noticed ...
Joanna of Portugal, Blessed

Bl. Joanna of Portugal

Born at Lisbon, 16 February, 1452; died at Aveiro, 12 may, 1490; the daughter of Alfonso V, King ...
Joannes de Sacrobosco

Joannes de Sacrobosco

(John Holywood), a monk of English origin, lived in the first half of the thirteenth century as ...
Job

Job

One of the books of the Old Testament , and the chief personage in it. In this article it is ...
Jocelin

Jocelin

Cistercian monk and Bishop of Glasgow ; d. at Melrose Abbey in 1199. On 22 April, 1170, ...
Jocelin de Brakelond

Jocelin de Brakelond

An English chronicler, of the late twelfth century. He was the monk of Bury St. Edmund's ...
Jocelin of Wells

Jocelin of Wells

(Or JOSCELINE) Bishop of Bath and Wells (JOCELINUS THOTEMAN), d. 19 Nov., 1242. He was ...
Joel

Joel

The son of Phatuel, and second in the list of the twelve Minor Prophets. Nothing is known of his ...
Joest, Jan

Jan Joest

(V AN K ALKAR ). Otherwise JAN JOOST VAN CALCKER. Dutch painter, b. at Calcker, or ...
Jogues, Saint Isaac

St. Isaac Jogues

French missionary, born at Orléans, France, 10 January, 1607; martyred at Ossernenon, ...
John and Cyrus, Saints

Sts. Cyrus and John

Celebrated martyrs of the Coptic Church, surnamed thaumatourgoi anargyroi because they healed ...
John and Paul, Saints

Sts. John and Paul

Martyred at Rome on 26 June. The year of their martyrdom is uncertain according to their ...
John Baptist de la Salle, Saint

St. John Baptist de la Salle

Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools , educational reformer, and ...
John Baptist de Rossi, Saint

John Baptist de Rossi

(De Rubeis). Born at Voltaggio in the Diocese of Genoa, 22 February, 1698; died at Rome, 23 ...
John Beche, Blessed

John Beche

( Alias THOMAS MARSHALL). English Benedictine abbot and martyr ; date of birth unknown; ...
John Berchmans, Saint

St. John Berchmans

Born at Diest in Brabant, 13 March, 1599; died at Rome, 13 August, 1621. His parents watched ...
John Bosco, Saint

St. John Bosco (Don Bosco)

( Or St. John Bosco; Don Bosco.) Founder of the Salesian Society. Born of poor parents in ...
John Boste, Saint

St. John Boste

(Or JOHN BOAST.) Priest and martyr, b. of good Catholic family at Dufton, in Westmoreland, ...
John Britton, Venerable

Ven. John Britton

(Or Bretton). A layman and martyr, of all ancient family of Bretton near Barnsley in ...
John Buckley, Venerable

Ven. John Buckley

( Alias John Jones; alias John Griffith; in religion, Godfrey Maurice). Priest and martyr, ...
John Cantius, Saint

St. John Cantius

Born at Kenty, near Oswiecim, Diocese of Krakow, Poland, 1412 (or 1403); died at Krakow, 1473, ...
John Capistran, Saint

St. John Capistran

Born at Capistrano, in the Diocese of Sulmona, Italy, 1385; died 23 October, 1456. His father had ...
John Chrysostom, Saint

St. John Chrysostom

( Chrysostomos , "golden-mouthed" so called on account of his eloquence). Doctor of the ...
John Climacus, Saint

St. John Climacus

Also surnamed SCHOLASTICUS, and THE SINAITA, b. doubtlessly in Syria, about 525; d. on Mount ...
John Colombini, Blessed

Bl. John Colombini

Founder of the Congregation of Jesuati; b. at Siena, Upper Italy, about 1300; d. on the way to ...
John Cornelius and Companions, Venerable

Ven. John Cornelius and Companions

John Cornelius (called also Mohun) was born of Irish parents at Bodmin, in Cornwall, on the ...
John Damascene, Saint

Saint John Damascene

Born at Damascus, about 676; died some time between 754 and 787. The only extant life of the ...
John de Britto, Blessed

St. John de Britto

Martyr ; born in Lisbon, 1 March, 1647, and was brought up in court; martyred in India 11 ...
John Felton, Blessed

Bl. John Felton

Martyr, date and place of birth unknown, was executed in St. Paul's Churchyard, London, 8 ...
John Fisher, Saint

St. John Fisher

Cardinal, Bishop of Rochester, and martyr ; born at Beverley, Yorkshire, England, 1459 ...
John Forest, Blessed

Bl. John Forest

Born in 1471, presumably at Oxford, where his surname was then not unknown; suffered 22 May, ...
John Francis Regis, Saint

St. John Francis Regis

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

Ven. John Hambley

English martyr (suffered 1587), born and educated in Cornwall, and converted by reading one ...
John I, Pope Saint

Pope St. John I

Died at Ravenna on 18 or 19 May (according to the most popular calculation), 526. A Tuscan by ...
John II, Pope

Pope John II

(533-535). The date of the birth of this pope is not known. He was a Roman and the son of ...
John III, Pope

Pope John III

(561-574). A Roman surnamed Catelinus, d. 13 July, 574. He was of a distinguished family, ...
John Ingram, Venerable

Ven. John Ingram

English martyr, born at Stoke Edith, Herefordshire, in 1565; executed at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 26 ...
John IV, Pope

Pope John IV

(640-642). A native of Dalmatia, and the son of the scholasticus (advocate) Venantius. The ...
John IX, Pope

Pope John IX

(898-900). Not only is the date of John's birth unknown, but the date of his election as ...
John Joseph of the Cross, Saint

St. John Joseph of the Cross

Born on the Island of Ischia, Southern Italy, 1654; d. 5 March, 1739. From his earliest years ...
John Larke, Blessed

Bl. John Larke

English martyr ; died at Tyburn, 7 March, 1543-4. He was rector of St. Ethelburga's ...
John Malalas

John Malalas

A Monophysite Byzantine chronicler of the sixth century, born at Antioch where he spent most if ...
John Nelson, Blessed

Blessed John Nelson

English Jesuit martyr, b. at Skelton, four miles from York, in 1534; d. at Tyburn, 3 February, ...
John Nepomucene, Saint

St. John Nepomucene

Born at Nepomuk about 1340; died 20 March, 1393. The controversy concerning the identity of John ...
John of Antioch

John of Antioch

There are four persons commonly known by this name. I John, Patriarch of Antioch ...
John of Avila, Blessed

Bl. John of Avila

Apostolic preacher of Andalusia and author, b. at Almodóvar del Campo, a small town in ...
John of Beverley, Saint

Saint John of Beverley

Bishop of Hexham and afterwards of York; b. at Harpham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire; d. at ...
John of Biclaro

John of Biclaro

(Johannes Biclariensis.) Chronicler, born in Portugal, probably about the middle of the sixth ...
John of Cornwall

John of Cornwall

(JOHANNES CORNUBIENSIS, JOHANNES DE SANCTO GERMANO). John of Cornwall lived about 1176. He was ...
John of Ephesus

John of Ephesus

(Also known as JOHN OF ASIA). The earliest, and a very famous, Syriac historian. He was born ...
John of Fécamp

John of Fecamp

(Also known as JEANNELIN on account of his diminutive stature). Ascetic writer, b. near Ravenna ...
John of Falkenberg

John of Falkenberg

Author, b. at Falkenberg, Pomerania, Prussia, date unknown; d. about 1418 in Italy &151; ...
John of Fermo, Blessed

Blessed John of Fermo

More often called JOHN OF LA VERNA, from his long sojourn on that holy mountain, b. at Fermo ...
John of Genoa

John of Genoa

(Often called Balbi, or de Balbis.) Grammarian; born at Genoa, date unknown; died there ...
John of God, Saint

St. John of God

Born at Montemor o Novo, Portugal, 8 March, 1495, of devout Christian parents ; died at ...
John of Hauteville

John of Hauteville

Moralist and satirical poet of the twelfth century (flourished about 1184). Little is known of his ...
John of Janduno

John of Janduno

An Averroistic philosopher, theologian, and political writer of the fourteenth century. John of ...
John of Montecorvino

John of Montecorvino

A Franciscan and founder of the Catholic mission in China, b. at Montecorvino in Southern ...
John of Montesono

John of Montesono

Theologian and controversialist, born at Monzón, Spain ; dates of birth and death ...
John of Nikiû

John of Nikiu

An Egyptian chronicler who flourished in the latter part of the seventh century. The little we ...
John of Paris

John of Paris

( Called also Quidort and de Soardis). Theologian and controversialist; born at Paris, ...
John of Parma, Blessed

Blessed John of Parma

Minister General of the Friars Minor (1247-1257), b. at Parma about 1209; d. at Camerino 19 ...
John of Ragusa

John of Ragusa

(Sometimes confounded with John of Segovia ). A Dominican theologian, president of the ...
John of Roquetaillade (de Rupescissa)

John of Roquetaillade (De Rupescissa)

Franciscan alchemist, date of birth unknown; d. probably at Avignon, 1362. After pursuing the ...
John of Rupella

John of Rupella

Franciscan theologian, b. at La Rochelle (Rupella), towards the end of the twelfth century; d. ...
John of Sahagun, Saint

Saint John of Sahagun

Hermit, b. 1419, at Sahagún (or San Fagondez) in the Kingdom of Leon, in Spain ; d. 11 ...
John of Saint Thomas

John of St. Thomas

(Family name John Poinsot), theologian, born at Lisbon, 9 June, 1589; died at Fraga, Spain, 17 ...
John of Salisbury

John of Salisbury

(JOHANNES DE SARESBERIA, surnamed PARVUS). Born about 1115; died 1180; a distinguished ...
John of Segovia

John of Segovia

A Spanish theologian, b. at Segovia towards the end of the fourteenth century; d. probably in ...
John of the Cross, Saint

St. John of the Cross

Founder (with St. Teresa) of the Discalced Carmelites, doctor of mystic theology, b. at ...
John of Victring

John of Victring

(JOHANNES VICTORENSIS or DE VICTORIA). Chronicler, b. probably between 1270 and 1280; d. at ...
John of Winterthur

John of Winterthur

(Johannes Vitoduranus.) Historian, born about 1300 at Winterthur (Switzerland); died ...
John Parvus

John Parvus

Called in his day, JEHAN PETIT or LE PETIT. A French theologian and professor in the ...
John Payne, Blessed

Bl. John Payne

Born in the Diocese of Peterborough ; died at Chelmsford, 2 April, 1582. He went to Douai in ...
John Rigby, Saint

St. John Rigby

English martyr ; b. about 1570 at Harrocks Hall, Eccleston, Lancashire; executed at St. Thomas ...
John Roberts, Saint

St. John Roberts

First Prior of St. Gregory's, Douai (now Downside Abbey ), b. 1575-6; martyred 10 ...
John Rochester, Blessed

Bl. John Rochester

Priest and martyr, born probably at Terling, Essex, England, about 1498; died at York, 11 May, ...
John Sarkander, Blessed

Bl. John Sarkander

Martyr of the seal of confession, born at Skotschau in Austrian Silesia, 20 Dec., 1576; died at ...
John Scholasticus

John Scholasticus

( ho Scholastikos ; also called J OHN OF A NTIOCH ) Patriarch of Constantinople (J OHN ...
John Shert, Blessed

Bl. John Shert

A native of Cheshire; took the degree of B.A. at Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1566. Successively ...
John Stone, Blessed

Bl. John Stone

English martyr, executed at the Dane-John, Canterbury, probably in December, 1539, for denying ...
John Story, Blessed

Bl. John Story

( Or Storey.) Martyr ; born 1504; died at Tyburn, 1 June, 1571. He was educated at ...
John Talaia

John Talaia

Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria (481-482) at the time of the Monophysite troubles. He had ...
John the Almsgiver, Saint

St. John the Almsgiver

(JOANNES ELEEMOSYNARIUS; JOANNES MISERICORS). Patriarch of Alexandria (606-16), b. at Amathus ...
John the Baptist, Saint

St. John the Baptist

The principal sources of information concerning the life and ministry of St. John the Baptist are ...
John the Deacon

John the Deacon

(J OHANNES D IACONUS ). Among the writers of the Middle Ages who bear this name, four ...
John the Evangelist, Saint

St. John the Evangelist

I. New Testament Accounts II. The Alleged Presbyter John III. The Later Accounts of John IV. Feasts ...
John the Faster

John the Faster

( ‘o nesteutés, jejunator ) Patriarch of Constantinople (John IV, 582-595), ...
John the Silent, Saint

John the Silent

(Hesychastes, Silentiarius). Bishop of Colonia, in Armenia, b. at Nicopolis, Armenia, 8 ...
John Twenge, Saint

St. John Twenge

Last English saint canonized, canon regular, Prior of St. Mary's, Bridlington, b. near the ...
John V, Pope

Pope John V

(685-686). A Syrian whose father was one Cyriacus; when he was born is not known; d. 2 ...
John VI, Pope

Pope John VI

(701-705). A Greek, the date of whose birth is unknown; d. 11 January, 705. He ascended the ...
John VII, Pope

Pope John VII

(705-707). The year of his birth is unknown; d. 18 October, 707. Few particulars of his life ...
John VIII, Pope

Pope John VIII

(Reigned 872-82) A Roman and the son of Gundus. He seems to have been born in the first ...
John X, Pope

Pope John X

Born at Tossignano, Romagna; enthroned, 914; died at Rome, 928. First a deacon, he became ...
John XI, Pope

Pope John XI

Date of birth unknown, became pope in 931; d. 936. He was the son of Marozia by her first ...
John XII, Pope

Pope John XII

Date of birth unknown; reigned 955-64. The younger Alberic, after the downfall of his mother, ...
John XIII, Pope

Pope John XIII

Date of birth unknown; enthroned on 1 Oct., 965; d. 6 Sept., 972. After the death of John XII ...
John XIV, Pope

Pope John XIV

Date of birth unknown; d. 984. After the death of Benedict VII, Bishop Peter Campanora of Pavia, ...
John XIX (XX), Pope

Pope John XIX (XX)

Enthroned in 1024; d. 1032. After the death of the last patricius of the House of Crescentius, ...
John XV (XVI), Pope

Pope John XV (XVI)

Enthroned 985; d. April, 996. After John XIV had been removed by force, the usurper, Boniface ...
John XVI (XVII)

Antipope John XVI (XVII)

Antipope 997-998; d. probably in 1013. After the death of John XV, Bruno, a relative of Otto ...
John XVII (XVIII), Pope

Pope John XVII (XVIII)

Date of birth unknown; d. 6 Nov., 1003. When Sylvester II died on 12 May, 1003, there was no ...
John XVIII (XIX), Pope

Pope John XVIII (XIX)

Successor of John XVII, consecrated Christmas, 1003; d. June, 1009. He was the son of a Roman ...
John XXI (XX), Pope

Pope John XXI (XX)

Born at Lisbon between 1210 and 1220; enthroned, 1276; died at Viterbo, 20 May, 1277. The son ...
John XXII, Pope

Pope John XXII

(JACQUES D'EUSE) Born at Cahors in 1249; enthroned, 5 September, 1316; died at Avignon, 4 ...
John XXIII

Antipope John XXIII

Antipope of the Pisan party (1400-15), b. about 1370; d. 22 November, 1419. Cardinal Baldassare ...
John, Epistles of

Epistles of Saint John

Three canonical books of the New Testament written by the Apostle St. John. The subject will ...
John, Gospel of

Gospel of Saint John

This subject will be considered under the following heads: I. Contents and Scheme of the ...
Johnson, Blessed Robert

Bl. Robert Johnson

Born in Shropshire, entered the German College, Rome, 1 October, 1571. Ordained priest at ...
Johnson, Blessed Thomas

Bl. Thomas Johnson

Carthusian martyr, died in Newgate gaol, London, 20 September, 1537. On 18 May, 1537, the twenty ...
Johnson, Lionel Pigot

Lionel Pigot Johnson

Born at Broadstairs on the Kentish coast, 15 Mar., 1867; died 4 Oct., 1902. He was the youngest ...
Johnston, Richard Malcolm

Richard Malcolm Johnston

Educator, author, b. 8 March, 1822, at Powellton, Georgia, U.S.A.; d. at Baltimore, Maryland, 23 ...
Joinville, Jean, Sire de

Jean, Sire de Joinville

Seneschal of Champagne, historian, b. in 1225; d. at Joinville, 1317. His family held an ...
Joliet, Louis

Louis Joliet

(Or JOLLIET). Louis Joliet, a discoverer and the son of a wagon-maker, was born at Quebec, ...
Joliette

Joliette

(JOLIETTENSIS). Diocese created by Pius X , 27 January, 1904 by division of the Archdiocese ...
Jolly, Philipp Johann Gustav von

Philipp Johann Gustav von Jolly

German physicist, born at Mannheim, 26 September, 1809; died at Munich, 24 December, 1884. His ...
Jonas

Jonah

The fifth of the Minor Prophets. The name is usually taken to mean "dove", but in view of the ...
Jonas of Bobbio

Jonas of Bobbio

(Or Jonas of Susa ) Monk and hagiographer, b. about the close of the sixth century at ...
Jonas of Orléans

Jonas of Orleans

Bishop and ecclesiastical writer, born in Aquitaine; died in 843 or 844. From 818, when he ...
Jonathan

Jonathan

(Hebrew, " Yahweh hath given", cf. Theodore; Septuagint 'Ionáthan .) Name of several ...
Jones, Inigo

Inigo Jones

A famous English architect, b. 15 July, 1573, in London ; d. 21 June, 1652, and was buried in ...
Jones, Venerable Edward

Ven. Edward Jones

Priest and martyr, b. in the Diocese of St. Asaph, Wales, date unknown; d. in London, 6 May ...
Jordan, The

The Jordan

(In Hebrew Yâdên, from the root Yârâd, to descend). The difference ...
Jordanis

Jordanis (Jornandes)

Historian, lived about the middle of the sixth century in the Eastern Roman Empire. His family ...
Jordanus of Giano

Jordanus of Giano

(DE JANO). Italian Minorite, b. at Giano in the Valley of Spoleto, c. 1195; d. after 1262. ...
Jornandes

Jordanis (Jornandes)

Historian, lived about the middle of the sixth century in the Eastern Roman Empire. His family ...
Josaphat

Josaphat

( Hebrew for " Yahweh hath judged"; Septuagint 'Iosaphát ). Fourth King of Juda ...
Josaphat and Barlaam

Barlaam and Josaphat

The principal characters of a legend of Christian antiquity, which was a favourite subject of ...
Josaphat Kuncevyc, Saint

St. Josaphat Kuncevyc

Martyr, born in the little town of Volodymyr in Lithuania (Volyn) in 1580 or -- according to ...
Josaphat, Valley of

Valley of Josaphat

(JEHOSHAPHAT). Mentioned in only one passage of the Bible ( Joel 3 -- Hebrew text, 4). In ...
Joseph

Joseph

The eleventh son of Jacob, the firstborn of Rachel, and the immediate ancestor of the tribes ...
Joseph Calasanctius of the Mother of God, Pious Workers of Saint

Pious Workers of St. Joseph Calasanctius

Founded at Vienna, 24 November, 1889, by Father Anton Maria Schwartz for all works of charity, ...
Joseph Calasanctius, Saint

St. Joseph Calasanctius

Called in religion "a Matre Dei", founder of the Piarists, b. 11 Sept., 1556, at the castle of ...
Joseph II

Joseph II

(1741-90). German Emperor (reigned 1765-90), of the House of Hapsburg-Lorraine, son and ...
Joseph of Arimathea

Joseph of Arimathea

All that is known for certain concerning him is derived from the canonical Gospels. He was born ...
Joseph of Cupertino, Saint

St. Joseph of Cupertino

Mystic, born 17 June, 1603; died at Osimo 18 September, 1663; feast, 18 September. Joseph ...
Joseph of Exeter

Joseph of Exeter

(JOSEPHUS ISCANUS.) A twelfth-century Latin poet; b. at Exeter, England. About 1180 he went ...
Joseph of Issachar

Joseph of Issachar

A man of the tribe of Issachar, and the father of Igal who was one of the spies sent by Moses ...
Joseph of Leonessa, Saint

St. Joseph of Leonessa

In the world named Eufranio Desiderio; born in 1556 at Leonessa in Umbria; died 4 February, ...
Joseph's Society for Colored Missions, Saint

St. Joseph's Society For Colored Missions

This organization began its labours in 1871, when four young priests from Mill Hill were put in ...
Joseph's Society for Foreign Missions, Saint

St. Joseph's Society For Foreign Missions

(Mill Hill, London, N.W.) A society of priests and laymen whose object is to labour for ...
Joseph, Saint

St. Joseph

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster-father of Our Lord Jesus Christ . LIFE Sources ...
Joseph, Sisters of Saint

Sisters of Saint Joseph

CONGREGATION OF THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH Founded at Le Puy, in Velay, France, by the Rev. ...
Josephites

Josephites

(Sons of St. Joseph) A congregation devoted to the Christian education of youth, founded in ...
Josephus, Flavius

Flavius Josephus

Jewish historian, born A.D. 37, at Jerusalem ; died about 101. He belonged to a distinguished ...
Joshua

Josue (Joshua)

The name of eight persons in the Old Testament, and of one of the Sacred Books. ( ...
Josias

Josias

(J OSIAH – Hebrew for " Yahweh supports"; Septuagint 'Iosías ). A pious ...
Josue

Josue (Joshua)

The name of eight persons in the Old Testament, and of one of the Sacred Books. ( ...
Joubert, Joseph

Joseph Joubert

French philosopher ; b. at Martignac (Dordogne), 7 May, 1754, d. at Villeneuve-le-Roi (Yonne), 4 ...
Jouffroy, Claude-François-Dorothée de

Claude-Francois-Dorothee de Jouffroy

M ARQUIS d' A BBANS . Mechanician, b. at Abbans, near Besançon, 30 Sept., 1751; d. ...
Jouffroy, Jean de

Jean de Jouffroy

French prelate and statesman; b. at Luxeuil (Franche-Comté) about 1412; d. at the priory ...
Jouin, Louis

Louis Jouin

Linguist, philosopher, author, b. at Berlin, 14 June, 1818, d. at New York, 10 June, 1899. He ...
Jouvancy, Joseph de

Joseph de Jouvancy

(JOSEPHUS JUVENCIUS). Poet, pedagogue, philologist, and historian, b. at Paris, 14 September, ...
Jouvenet, Jean

Jean Jouvenet

Surnamed T HE G REAT . French painter, b. at Rouen in 1644, d. at Paris, 5 April, 1717. ...
Jovellanos, Gaspar Melchor de

Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos

(Also written JOVE-LLANOS). Spanish statesman and man of letters, at Gijon, Asturias, 5 Jan., ...
Jovianus, Flavius Claudius

Flavius Claudius Jovianus

Roman Emperor, 363-4. After the death of Julian the Apostate (26 June, 363), the army making ...
Jovinianus

Jovianus

An opponent of Christian asceticism in the fourth century, condemned as a heretic (390). Our ...
Jovius, Paulus

Paulus Jovius

(GIOVIO). Historian, b. at Como, Italy, 9 April, 1483, d. at Florence, 11 Dec., 1552. Having ...
Joyeuse, Henri, Duc de

Henri, Duc de Joyeuse

Born in 1563 and not, as is mistakenly stated in the "Biographic Michaud ", in 1567; died at ...
Juan Bautista de Toledo

Juan Bautista de Toledo

An eminent Spanish sculptor and architect; b. at Madrid (date not known); d. there 19 May, ...
Jubilate Sunday

Jubilate Sunday

The third Sunday after Easter, being so named from the first word of the Introit at Mass ...
Jubilee, Holy Year of

Holy Year of Jubilee

The ultimate derivation of the word jubilee is disputed, but it is most probable that the ...
Jubilee, Year of (Hebrew)

Year of Jubilee (Hebrew)

According to the Pentateuchal legislation contained in Leviticus, a Jubilee year is the year that ...
Jubilees, Book of

Book of Jubilees

( ta Iobelaia ). An apocryphal writing, so called from the fact that the narratives and ...
Juda

Juda

The name of one of the Patriarchs, the name of the tribe reputed to be descended from him, the ...
Judaism

Judaism

At the present day, the term designates the religious communion which survived the destruction of ...
Judaizers

Judaizers

(From Greek Ioudaizo , to adopt Jewish customs -- Esther 8:17 ; Galatians 2:14 ). A ...
Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot

The Apostle who betrayed his Divine Master . The name Judas ( Ioudas ) is the Greek form of ...
Judas Machabeus

Judas Machabeus

Third son of the priest Mathathias who with his family was the centre and soul of the ...
Judde, Claude

Claude Judde

French preacher and spiritual father; born at Rouen, about 20 December, 1661; died at Paris, ...
Jude, Epistle of Saint

Epistle of Saint Jude

The present subject will be treated under the following heads: I. The Author and the ...
Judea

Judea

Like the adjective Ioudaios , the noun Ioudaia comes from the Aramæan Iehûdai ...
Judge, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastical Judge

(J UDEX E CCLESIASTICUS ) An ecclesiastical person who possesses ecclesiastical ...
Judges, The Book of

Judges

The seventh book of the Old Testament , second of the Early Prophets of the Hebrew canon. I. ...
Judgment, Divine

Divine Judgment

This subject will be treated under two heads: I. Divine Judgment Subjectively and Objectively ...
Judgment, General

General Judgment (Last Judgment)

(Judicium Universale, Last Judgment). I. EXISTENCE OF THE GENERAL JUDGMENT 1 Few truths are ...
Judgment, Last

General Judgment (Last Judgment)

(Judicium Universale, Last Judgment). I. EXISTENCE OF THE GENERAL JUDGMENT 1 Few truths are ...
Judgment, Particular

Particular Judgment

A. Dogma of Particular Judgment The Catholic doctrine of the particular judgment is this: that ...
Judica Sunday

Judica Sunday

Name given to the fifth Sunday of Lent, and derived from the first words of the Introit of ...
Judith, Book of

Book of Judith

HISTORY Nabuchodonosor, King of Nineveh, sends his general Holofernes to subdue the Jews. The ...
Julia Billiart, Saint

Saint Julie Billiart

( Also Julia). Foundress, and first superior-general of the Congregation of the Sisters of ...
Julian and Basilissa, Saints

Saints Julian and Basilissa

Husband and wife; died at Antioch or, more probably, at Antinoe, in the reign of Diocletian, ...
Julian of Eclanum

Julian of Eclanum

Born about 386; died in Sicily, 454; the most learned among the leaders of the Pelagian ...
Julian of Speyer

Julian of Speyer

Often called J ULIANUS T EUTONICUS . A famous composer, poet, and historian of the ...
Julian the Apostate

Julian the Apostate

(FLAVIUS CLAUDIUS JULIANUS). Roman emperor 361-63, b. at Constantinople in 331, d. 26 June, ...
Juliana Falconieri, Saint

St. Juliana Falconieri

Born in 1270; died 12 June, 1341. Juliana belonged to the noble Florentine family of Falconieri. ...
Juliana of Liège, Saint

St. Juliana of Liege

Nun, b. at Retinnes, near Liège, Belgium, 1193; d. at Fosses, 5 April, 1258. At the age ...
Juliana of Norwich

Juliana of Norwich

English mystic of the fourteenth century, author or recipient of the vision contained in the book ...
Juliana, Saint

St. Juliana

Suffered martyrdom during the Diocletian persecution. Both the Latin and Greek Churches mention ...
Julie Billiart, Saint

Saint Julie Billiart

( Also Julia). Foundress, and first superior-general of the Congregation of the Sisters of ...
Juliopolis

Juliopolis

Titular see in the province of Bithynia Secunda, suffragan of Nicaea. The city was founded under ...
Julitta and Quiricus

Sts. Quiricus and Julitta

Martyred under Diocletian. The names of these two martyrs, who in the early Church enjoyed a ...
Julius Africanus

Julius Africanus

(c. 160-c. 240; the full name is Sextus Iulius Africanus, Greek Sextos Ioulios Aphrikanos ). ...
Julius I, Pope Saint

Pope Saint Julius I

(337-352). The immediate successor of Pope Silvester, Arcus, ruled the Roman Church for ...
Julius II, Pope

Pope Julius II

(GIULIANO DELLA ROVERE). Born on 5 December, 1443, at Albissola near Savona; crowned on 28 ...
Julius III, Pope

Julius III

(GIAMMARIA CIOCCHI DEL MONTE). Born at Rome, 10 September, 1487; died there, 23 March, 1555. ...
Jumièges, Abbey of

Benedictine Abbey of Jumieges

Jumièges, situated on the north bank of the Seine, between Duclair and Caudebec, in ...
Junípero Serra

Junipero Serra

Born at Petra, Island of Majorca, 24 November, 1713; died at Monterey, California, 28 August, ...
Jungmann, Bernard

Bernard Jungmann

A dogmatic theologian and ecclesiastical historian, born at Münster in Westphalia, 1 ...
Jungmann, Josef

Josef Jungmann

Born 12 Nov., 1830, at Münster, Westphalia ; died at Innsbruck, 25 Nov., 1885. In 1850 he ...
Jurisdiction, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

The right to guide and rule the Church of God. The subject is here treated under the following ...
Jus Spolii

Jus Spolii

(RIGHT OF SPOIL; also called JUS EXUVIARUM and RAPITE CAPITE) Jus Spolii, a claim, exercised in ...
Jussieu, De

De Jussieu

Name of five French botanists. (1) ANTOINE DE JUSSIEU, physician and botanist, b. at Lyons, ...
Juste

Juste

The name conventionally applied to a family of Italian sculptors, whose real name was Betti, ...
Justice

Justice

Justice is here taken in its ordinary and proper sense to signify the most important of the ...
Justification

Justification

(Latin justificatio ; Greek dikaiosis .) A biblio-ecclesiastical term; which denotes the ...
Justin de Jacobis, Blessed

Blessed Justin de Jacobis

Vicar Apostolic of Abyssinia and titular Bishop of Nilopolis, h. at San Fele, Province of ...
Justin Martyr, Saint

St. Justin Martyr

Christian apologist, born at Flavia Neapolis, about A.D. 100, converted to Christianity about ...
Justina and Cyprian, Saints

Sts. Cyprian and Justina

Christians of Antioch who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Diocletian at ...
Justinian I

Justinian I

Roman Emperor (527-65) Flavius Anicius Julianus Justinianus was born about 483 at Tauresium ...
Justiniani, Benedetto

Benedetto Justiniani

(GIUSTINIANI). Theological and Biblical writer, born at Genoa, about the year 1550; died at ...
Justiniani, Nicholas

Nicholas Justiniani

Date of birth unknown, became monk in the Benedictine monastery of San Niccoló del Lido ...
Justinianopolis

Justinianopolis

A titular see of Armenia Prima, suffragan of Sebaste. This see is better known in history ...
Justus, Saint

St. Justus

Fourth Archbishop of Canterbury ; died 627 (?). For the particulars of his life we are almost ...
Juvencus, C. Vettius Aquilinus

Juvencus

Christian Latin poet of the fourth century. Of his life we know only what St. Jerome tells us ...
Juvenile Courts

Juvenile Courts

Tribunals for the trial of children charged with crimes or offences. The maximum age is usually ...

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