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Nasoræans

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Sometimes called M ANDÆANS, S ABIANS, or C HRISTIANS OF S T. J OHN.

Nasoræans are pagan Gnostics who shortly before the rise of Christianity, formed a sect which flourished in Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and which was one of the foremost religions in Western Asia in the early years of Mohammedanism. Though some 2000 families strong in the seventeenth century, they have dwindled at the present day to some 1500 adherents living on the Shat-el-Arab near the Persian Gulf. It is the only Gnostic sect that has survived and the sacred writings of which are still extant; a few remnants excepted, the writings of the so-called Christian Gnostics have perished.

I. NAMES

Mandæan (mndaya) is a Babylonian-Aramaic word in dialectic form, meaning: Gnostics, gnostikoí , "those who are good at knowing". The Hebrew for knowledge md‘ Madda is of the same root and is the noun from which the adjective Mandaya is derived. It is the name adopted by the sect itself, being employed in their sacred books, and is characteristic of their worship of the mnds dhya gnôsis tês doês or "knowledge of life". Another name also found in their sacred books is that of Sabians ( sbya ) which means Baptists (sb‘ to baptize in Syriac and Aramaic). This name is known to the Mohammedans (sing. Sabia, pl. fr. Subâ’u ) from the Koran (Sure V, 73; II, 59; XXII, 17) in which Christians, Savians, and Jews are enumerated as religions which can be tolerated by Islam. It is based on the prominence of frequent baptism in their religious discipline and hence they are no doubt referred to by the Fathers as Hemerobaptists ‘emerobaptístai i.e. practising daily baptism. The name Soubaíoi was even known in Greek writers. The name, however, most frequently used in their sacred literature is that of Nasoreans, naswraya which is also the usual Arabic (sing. Nasrani, pl. Nasâra) for Christians. The coincidence is striking, the more so as the Nasoræans have no leaning towards Christianity, but rather contempt and hatred for it; nor do their doctrines betray any approximation to Christian beliefs, except perhaps in that of the existence of a saviour, although some of their ceremonies bear a superficial resemblance to Christian mysteries. If, however, we remember that the Manichæans in Europe paraded as the true Christians, though their system has but the use of half a dozen terms in common with Christianity, and that some Gnostic sects had barely any similarity with the Church of Christ, though self-styled Christians, it becomes less strange that even Mandæans should have styled themselves Nasoræans. The term Kristiânâ, as transliteration of the Greek word, they reserve for the followers of Jesus Christ. Christianity was no doubt a name to conjure with, but the absence of any reason for the adoption of the title remains a mystery. It is suggested by some that the name is only given to the most perfect amongst them, but this seems contrary to fact. The name "Christians of St. John" is of European origin and based on a mistake. The Nasoræans have an extraordinary veneration for St. John the Baptist , who figures largely in their mythology. This veneration, together with the similarity of their rites to Christian sacraments, led the first missionaries from Europe to regard them as descendants of the Christians baptized only with the baptism of St. John. Such, e.g. was the impression of the Carmelite Ignatius a Jesu, who lived some years in Bassa and wrote a description of the sect (1652).

II. DOCTRINES

These are to be gathered from a voluminous compilation called Genza or "The Treasure", and sometimes Sidra Rabba or "The Great Book", of which copies dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris and have been published by Petermann (Thesaurus s. Liber Magnus, vulgo Liber Adami, etc., Berlin, 1867) in Nasoræan script and language. The former is not unlike Estrangela with vowels added in the modifications of the consonants, and the latter closely resembles that of the Aramaic in the Talmud. The same text in Syriac characters with a somewhat free Latin translation was published by Norberg (London and Gotha, 1817). Selections from the Genza (about one fourth) have been translated into German by Brandt. This book is arbitrarily divided into two sections, called the Right and the Left Genza from the curious Nasoræan custom of writing these two portions in one volume but in inverted positions, the left being used at funerals and being written for the benefit of the dead. The Genza is a collection of writings from all ages and sources, some dating even after the Mohammedan conquest. Another sacred book is the Kolasta, or "Summa" or practical vademecum containing hymns, liturgies, rites for marriages, etc. (published as "Qolasta" by Euting, Stuttgart, 1867). The Sidra de Yahya i.e. Book of St. John or Drâshê de malkê, "Lectures of the Kings" was published in 1905 by Lidzbarski and translated with commentary by Ochser in 1905. The Diwan, a priestly ritual, was published by Euting (1904), but the Asfar Malwâshe, an astrological work on the signs of the Zodiac, is not yet published. In recent years finds of Nasoræan inscriptions on pottery have added to our knowledge of their popular superstitions (Pognon, "Une incantation en Mandaïte", Paris, 1892; "Inscriptions Mand." Paris, 1808-9; Lidzbarski, "Ephem. f. Sem. Epigr.", Giessen, 1900).

These sources show Nasoræanism to be a form of Gnosticism which stands towards late Babylonian polytheism somewhat as Neo-Platonism stands towards the Greek and Roman Pantheon. It is an attempt to allegorize the ancient myths as being phases of man's creation and salvation, though Nasoræanism never rids itself of fantastic Eastern imagery. Probably through Nabatæan commerce these southern Babylonians came into contact with the Jews of the east of the Jordan and developed a worship of St. John the Baptist. Their daily baptism is however earlier than St. John's practice and is probably the cause of their belief regarding St. John rather than the effect of it. They likewise absorbed a great deal of Indian and Parsee philosophy till they developed their doctrine of the Light-King, which is similar to the Manichæan concept of the universe, though without an absolutely rigid dualism. No religion therefore bears a nearer resemblance to Nasoræanism than that of Mani, who himself was an eastern Baptist in his youth. Finally, through contact with the monotheism of Jews, Christians, Mohammedans, and later Parsees, they gradually drifted towards the acceptance of one God. Their worship of the Light-King is one of singular beauty and elevation. Their æonology is extremely intricate: the æons are called by the mystical name Utra (‘wtryya which means: Riches or Potencies; Hebrew ‘sr). It will suffice to mention a few prominent ideas. Pira Rabba is the source, origin, and container of all things. The meaning of Pira (pyra) is uncertain; of various suggested meanings, perhaps that of "Fruit" (Hebr. pry) is the most likely. This "Fruit" is like the Indian "Golden Egg", the transcendental and unconscious "Fullness of Being" out of which all things develop; it is the seed of the fig tree of the Gnostic Docetæ ; it is the B&údos of the Valentinians. This Pira Rabba is possessed and filled by the Mânâ Rabbâ: the Great Spirit, the Great Illustrious One, the Great Splendour or Majesty. From the Mânâ Rabbâ emanates the First Life, who prays for companionship and progeny, whereupon the Second Life, the Ultra Mkayyema or World-constituting Æon, the Architect of the Universe, comes into being. This divine architect gives forth a number of æons, who with his permission intend to erect the universe. This however displeases the First Life at whose request the Mânâ Rabbâ produces as surveyor or foreman of the architect's æons the Mandâ d'Hayye or gnôsis zoês the Personified Knowledge of Life i.e. the friend and counsellor of the First Life.

This Manda de Hayye is the Christ of the Nasoræans after whom they are called and around whom all their religious ideas group themselves. As god of order he has to battle with the æons of chaos and thus realize the divine idea in the world. The whole is a bold and obvious allegory: Marduk is sent by his father Ea to do battle with the powers of Tiamat. This female monster of chaos Nasoræans called the Holy Ghost, the Deceiver (spirit is feminine in Aramaic) or Ruha, no doubt to spite the Christians. This Ruha has a son called Ur, the prince of devils. Manda de Hayye conquers him and throws him into chains. Unfortunately while Gabriel the Apostle and Petahiel are beginning to create a good world, Ur escapes and begets with Ruha the seven planets, the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and the five elements. A truce is called and Petahiel amicably shares the creation of the world with the sons of Ur and Ruha. The lifeless body of Adam is created, but the "Image of God " is without motion. With the help of Abel, Seth, Enos, and Adakas there is breathed into him the spirit of life. The seven planets, however, and the twelve signs of the Zodiac constitute an evil influence in the world, which is continually being overcome by the Manda de Hayye. With the doctrine of the Light-King a considerable modification of æonology was introduced, but the main outline remained the same. The Light-King, the Father of the æons, begets Manda de Hayye or Protanthropos, Adam as the First man. This Manda de Hayye becomes incarnate in Jibil the Glorious or Hibil Ziva (hybyl zywa). Kessler pointedly remarks that if Manda is the Christ then Hibil is the Jesus Christ of Nasoræanism. Hibil's descents into Hades play a great rôle in their theology. Hibil is the Saviour and the Prophet of man. He is Marduk attempting to displace Jesus of Nazareth. A last emanation of the Light-King was John the Baptist , who with Hibil, Seth, and Enos are brethren of the Manda de Hayye. Frequent mention is made of heavenly Jordans, being streams of living waters from the transcendental realm of light. Hibil Ziva was baptized in 360,000 of them before his descent to the nether world.

III. DISCIPLINE AND RITUAL

The Nasoræans strongly repudiate all ideas of celibacy and asceticism ; they have a true Semitic contempt for the unmarried and repeatedly inculcate the precept "increase and multiply". They reject all fasting and self-denial as useless and unnatural, and if they observed the Mohammedan fasts at least in outward appearance it was only to avoid trouble and persecutions. They are the reverse of Manichæans ; there may be much evil in this world but man is bound to make the best of it. No wonder Mani left them. They observe no distinctions of food, except that blood and things strangled are forbidden them, also all food prepared by strangers, and even food bought in the market, must be washed. They have no special hours for prayer except that they must only pray when it is light, no prayer is heard as long as it is dark. Not the Mohammedan Friday, or the Jewish Sabbath, but the Christian Sunday is their weekly holyday. This, however, is not a conscious imitation of the Christians, whose "Carpenter-god" they hate as a son of the devil. The religious observance of other holidays seems of more recent origin, though no doubt their civil observance, as in the case of New Year's day (first day of Wintermonth; their months have thirty days with five intercalary days to make a solar year), is ancient enough, being a festival of ancient Babylonia. They observe Ascension day (of Hibil Ziva returning from Hades) on the eighteenth of first Springmonth, the Great Baptismal Festival on the intercalary days, the Feast of the Egyptians apparently drowned in the Red Sea under Pharaoh (they were not really drowned, but escaped and were the forefathers of the Nasoræans), and a few other feasts. They possessed a hierarchical priesthood to whom they paid a profound veneration. Their patriarch is the Rash Amma, chief of the people, but they seem but rarely to have had such a dignitary; legend says only one before and one after John the Baptist. A kind of bishops, priests, and deacons form the hierarchy ; they are called Ganzivrâ, Tarmidhâ, and Shecandâ or Treasurer, Disciple, and Messenger. The ordination to the priesthood is preceded by a so-called retreat of sixty days during which the candidate submits to many quaint rules and baptisms. The Shecanda is only an assistant, but the priest's privilege is the power to baptize ; the bishop is the administrator of the community. They possess three great sacramental rites, Mashutha or baptism ; Pehta and Mabutha or communion, really morsel (bread) and draught (water); and Kusta or troth, a handshake and plighting of troth. Baptism, always in flowing or living water of rivers and brooks, is the greatest of all the rites. Children are baptized as soon as they can bear total immersion. Self- baptism is frequent; the priest when baptizing used originally the formula: Thou art signed with the sign of life; the Name of the Life and the Manda de Hayya is named over thee. Baptism takes place on Sunday and on many other occasions when forgiveness of sin is required. It is followed by a kind of anointing with moist sesame. Communion is given in thin unleavened cakes kept in the priest's house and a handful of water. Kushta is a solemn sign of fellowship with brother Nasoræans. "Brethren of the flesh pass away, Kushta brethren remain forever", says the proverb. The history of Nasoræanism is practically unknown. The Genza contains a Book of Kings of a pseudo-historical character, but the utter confusion of their historical reminiscences makes it difficult to find a kernel of truth. The Nasoræans were lost to history till Ignatius a Jesu brought the news of their existence. They have been a prominent religion, as they were classed with Christians and Jews by the Mohammedans. It is often held that they once actually dwelt in Palestine near the Jordan and immigrated into Chaldea. Their bitter hatred of all that is Jewish or Christian (for Moses is a false prophet, Jesus, the Great Deceiver, whom Enos justly brings to the cross), together with their extensive use of Biblical names, would lead one to believe that though their "theology" is Indian-Babylonian they were once historically connected with Jewish Christians.

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New Pomerania

New Pomerania

New Pomerania, the largest island of the Bismarck Archipelago, is separated from New Guinea by ...
New Testament

New Testament

I. Name ; II. Description ; III. Origin ; IV. Transmission of the Text ; V. Contents, History, ...
New Testament, Canon of the

Canon of the New Testament

The Catholic New Testament, as defined by the Council of Trent, does not differ, as regards the ...
New Year's Day

New Year's Day

The word year is etymologically the same as hour (Skeat), and signifies a going, movement ...
New York (Archdiocese)

New York

ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK (NEO-EBORACENSIS). See erected 8 April, 1808; made archiepiscopal 19 ...
New York (State)

State of New York

One of the thirteen colonies of Great Britain, which on 4 July, 1776, adopted the Declaration of ...
New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand—formerly described as a colony—has, since September, 1907, by royal ...
Newark

Newark

(NOVARCENSIS) Diocese created in 1853, suffragan of New York and comprising Hudson, Passaic, ...
Newbattle

Newbattle

( Neubotle , i.e. new dwelling). Newbattle, in the ancient Diocese of St. Andrews, about ...
Newdigate, Blessed Sebastian

Blessed Sebastian Newdigate

Executed at Tyburn, 19 June, 1535. A younger son of John Newdigate of Harefield Place, Middlesex, ...
Newfoundland

Newfoundland

A British colony of North America (area 42,734 square miles), bounded on the north by the Strait ...
Newhouse, Abbey of

Abbey of Newhouse

The Abbey of Newhouse, near Brockelsby, Lincoln, the first Premonstratensian abbey in England, ...
Newman, John Henry

John Henry Newman

(1801-1890) Cardinal-Deacon of St. George in Velabro, divine, philosopher, man of letters, ...
Newport (England)

Newport (England)

(NEOPORTENSIS) This diocese takes its name from Newport, a town of about 70,000 inhabitants, ...
Newton, John

John Newton

A soldier and engineer, born at Norfolk, Virginia, 24 August, 1823; died in New York City, 1 May, ...
Niagara University

Niagara University

Niagara University, situated near Niagara Falls, New York, is conducted by the Vincentians. It ...
Nicéron, Jean-Pierre

Jean-Pierre Niceron

A French lexicographer, born in Paris, 11 March, 1685, died there, 8 July, 1738. After his ...
Nicaea

Nicaea

Titular see of Bithynia Secunda, situated on Lake Ascanius, in a fertile plain, but very ...
Nicaea, First Council of

First Council of Nicaea

First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 325 on the occasion of the heresy of ...
Nicaea, Second Council of

Second Council of Nicaea

Seventh Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 787. (For an account of the ...
Nicaragua

Nicaragua

(REPUBLIC AND DIOCESE OF NICARAGUA; DE NICARAGUA) The diocese, suffragan of Guatemala, is ...
Nicastro

Nicastro

(NEOCASTRENSIS). A city of the Province of Catanzaro, in Calabria, southern Italy, situated ...
Niccola Pisano

Niccola Pisano

Architect and sculptor, b. at Pisa about 1205-07; d. there, 1278. He was the father of modern ...
Nice

Nice

(NICIENSIS) Nice comprises the Department of Alpes-Maritimes. It was re-established by the ...
Nicene Creed

Nicene Creed

As approved in amplified form at the Council of Constantinople (381), it is the profession of the ...
Nicephorus, Saint

St. Nicephorus

Patriarch of Constantinople, 806-815, b. about 758; d. 2 June, 829. This champion of the orthodox ...
Nicetas

Nicetas

(NICETA) A Bishop of Remesiana (Romatiana) in what is now Servia, born about 335; died ...
Nicetius, Saint

St. Nicetius

A Bishop of Trier, born in the latter part of the fifth century, exact date unknown; died in ...
Niche

Niche

A recess for the reception of a statue, so designed as to give it emphasis, frame it effectively, ...
Nicholas Garlick, Venerable

Ven. Nicholas Garlick

Priest and martyr, born at Dinting, Derbyshire, c. 1555; died at Derby, 24 July, 1588. He ...
Nicholas I, Saint, Pope

Pope Saint Nicholas I

Born at Rome, date unknown; died 13 November, 867. One of the great popes of the Middle ...
Nicholas II, Pope

Pope Nicholas II

(GERHARD OF BURGUNDY) Nicholas was born at Chevron, in what is now Savoy ; elected at Siena, ...
Nicholas III, Pope

Pope Nicholas III

(GIOVANNI GAETANI ORSINI) Born at Rome, c. 1216; elected at Viterbo, 25 November, 1277; died ...
Nicholas IV, Pope

Pope Nicholas IV

(GIROLAMO MASCI) Born at Ascoli in the Rome, 4 April, 1292. He was of humble extraction, ...
Nicholas Justiniani

Nicholas Justiniani

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

Nicholas of Cusa

German cardinal, philosopher, and administrator, b. at Cues on the Moselle, in the Archdiocese ...
Nicholas of Flüe, Blessed

Blessed Nicholas of Flue

(D E R UPE ). Born 21 March, 1417, on the Flüeli, a fertile plateau near Sachseln, ...
Nicholas of Gorran

Nicholas of Gorran

(Or GORRAIN) Medieval preacher, and scriptural commentator; b. in 1232 at Gorron, France ; ...
Nicholas of Lyra

Nicholas of Lyra

( Doctor planus et utilis ) Exegete, b. at Lyra in Normandy, 1270; d. at Paris, 1340. The ...
Nicholas of Myra, Saint

St. Nicholas of Myra

( Also called NICHOLAS OF BARI). Bishop of Myra in Lycia; died 6 December, 345 or 352. ...
Nicholas of Osimo

Nicholas of Osimo

(AUXIMANUS). A celebrated preacher and author, b. at Osimo, Italy, in the second half of the ...
Nicholas of Strasburg

Nicholas of Strasburg

Mystic ; flourished early in the fourteenth century. Educated at Paris, he was later on lector ...
Nicholas of Tolentino, Saint

St. Nicholas of Tolentino

Born at Sant' Angelo, near Fermo, in the Hermits of St. Augustine -- a star above him or on his ...
Nicholas Owen, Saint

St. Nicholas Owen

A Jesuit lay-brother, martyred in 1606. There is no record of his parentage, birthplace, date ...
Nicholas Pieck, Saint

St. Nicholas Pieck

(Also spelled PICK). Friar Minor and martyr, b. at Gorkum, Holland, 29 August, 1534; d. at ...
Nicholas V, Pope

Pope Nicholas V

(TOMMASO PARENTUCELLI) A name never to be mentioned without reverence by every lover of ...
Nichols, Venerable George

Ven. George Nichols

(Or NICOLLS). English martyr, born at Oxford about 1550; executed at Oxford, 19 October, ...
Nicholson, Francis

Francis Nicholson

A controversial writer; b. at Manchester, 1650 ( baptized 27 Oct.); d. at Lisbon, 13 Aug., 1731. ...
Nicodemus

Nicodemus

A prominent Jew of the time of Christ, mentioned only in the Fourth Gospel . The name is of ...
Nicodemus, Gospel of

Acta Pilati

(Or the Gospel of Nicodemus.) This work does not assume to have written by Pilate, but to have ...
Nicolò de' Tudeschi

Nicolo De' Tudeschi

("abbas modernus" or "recentior", "abbas Panormitanus" or "Siculus") A Benedictine canonist, ...
Nicolaï, Jean

Jean Nicolai

Celebrated Dominican theologian and controversialist, b. in 1594 at Mouzay in the Diocese of ...
Nicolaites

Nicolaites Or Nicolaitans

(Also called Nicolaitans), a sect mentioned in the Apocalypse (ii,6,15) as existing in ...
Nicolas, Armella

Armella Nicolas

Popularly known as "La bonne Armelle", a saintly French serving-maid held in high veneration among ...
Nicolas, Auguste

Auguste Nicolas

French apologist, b. at Bordeaux, 6 Jan., 1807; d. at Versailles 18 Jan., 1888. He first studied ...
Nicolaus Germanus

Nicolaus Germanus

(Often called "Donis" from a misapprehension of the title "Donnus" or "Donus" an abbreviated form ...
Nicole, Pierre

Pierre Nicole

Theologian and controversialist, b. 19 October, 1625, at Chartres, d. 16 November, 1695, at ...
Nicolet

Nicolet

(NICOLETANA) Diocese in the Province of Quebec, Canada, suffragan of Quebec. It comprises the ...
Nicomedes, Saint

Saint Nicomedes

Martyr of unknown era, whose feast is observed 15 September. The Roman Martyrologium and the ...
Nicomedia

Nicomedia

Titular see of Bithynia Prima, founded by King Zipoetes. About 264 B.C. his son Nicodemes I ...
Nicopolis

Nicopolis (Armenia Prima)

A titular see, suffragan of Sebasteia, in Armenia Prima. Founded by Pompey after his decisive ...
Nicopolis

Nicopolis

(NICOPOLITANA) Diocese in Bulgaria. The city of Nicopolis (Thrace or Moesia), situated at the ...
Nicopolis

Nicopolis

A titular see and metropolis in ancient Epirus. Augustus founded the city (B.C. 31) on a ...
Nicosia

Nicosia (Sicily)

A city of the Province of Catania, in Sicily situated at a height of about 2800 feet above the ...
Nicosia

Nicosia (Cyprus)

Titular archdiocese in the Province of Cyprus. It is now agreed (Oberhummer' "Aus Cypern" in ...
Nicotera and Tropea

Nicotera and Tropea

(NICOTERENSIS ET TROPEIENSIS) Suffragan diocese of Reggio di Calabria. Nicotera, the ancient ...
Nider, John

John Nider

Theologian, b. 1380 in Swabia; d. 13 August, 1438, at Colmar. He entered the Order of Preachers ...
Nieremberg y Otin, Juan Eusebio

Juan Eusebio Nieremberg y Otin

Noted theologian and polygraphist, b. of German parents at Madrid, 1595; d. there, 1658. ...
Niessenberger, Hans

Hans Niessenberger

An architect of the latter part of the Middle Ages, whose name is mentioned with comparative ...
Niger, Peter George

Peter George Niger

(NIGRI, German SCHWARTZ) Dominican theologian, preacher and controversialist, b. 1434 at ...
Nigeria

Upper and Lower Nigeria

A colony of British East Africa extending from the Gulf of Guinea to Lake Chad (from 4° 30' ...
Nihilism

Nihilism

The term was first used by Turgeniev in his novel, "Fathers and Sons" (in "Russkij Vestnik", Feb., ...
Nihus, Barthold

Barthold Nihus

Convert and controversialist, b. at Holtorf in Hanover, 7 February, 1590 (according to other ...
Nikolaus von Dinkelsbühl

Nikolaus von Dinkelsbuhl

Theologian, b. c. 1360, at Dinkelsbühl; d. 17 March, 1433, at Mariazell in Styria. He ...
Nikon

Nikon

Patriarch of Moscow (1652-1658; d. 1681). He was of peasant origin, born in the district of ...
Nilles, Nikolaus

Nikolaus Nilles

Born 21 June, 1828, of a wealthy peasant family of Rippweiler, Luxemburg ; died 31 January, ...
Nilopolis

Nilopolis

A titular see and a suffragan of Oxyrynchos, in Egypt. According to Ptolemy (IV, v, 26) the ...
Nilus the Younger

Nilus the Younger

Of Rossano, in Calabria; born in 910, died 27 December, 1005. For a time he was married (or ...
Nilus, Saint

St. Nilus

( Neilos ) Nilus the elder, of Sinai (died c. 430), was one of the many disciples and ...
Nimbus

Nimbus

(Latin, related to Nebula, nephele , properly vapour, cloud), in art and archaeology signifies ...
Nimrod

Nemrod

Also N IMROD ( nmrd of uncertain signification, Septuagint Nebród ). The name of ...
Ninian, Saint

Saint Ninian

(NINIAS, NINUS, DINAN, RINGAN, RINGEN) Bishop and confessor ; date of birth unknown; died ...
Nirschl, Joseph

Joseph Nirschl

Theologian and writer, b. at Durchfurth, Lower Bavaria, 24 February, 1823; d. at ...
Nisibis

Nisibis

A titular Archdiocese of Mesopotamia, situated on the Mygdonius at the foot of Mt. Masius. It is ...
Nithard

Nithard

Frankish historian, son of Angilbert and Bertha, daughter of Charlemagne ; died about 843 or ...
Noah

Noah

[Hebrew Nôah , "rest"; Greek Noah ; Latin Noah ]. The ninth patriarch of the ...
Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark

The Hebrew name to designate Noah's Ark, the one which occurs again in the history of Moses' ...
Noailles, Louis-Antoine de

Louis-Antoine de Noailles

Cardinal and bishop, b. at the Château of Teyssiére in Auvergne, France, 27 May, ...
Nobili, Robert de'

Robert De' Nobili

Born at Montepulciano, Tuscany, September, 1577; died at Mylapore, India, in 1656. He entered the ...
Noble, Daniel

Daniel Noble

Physician, b. 14 Jan., 1810; d. at Manchester, 12 Jan, 1885. He was the son of Mary Dewhurst and ...
Nocera

Nocera

DIOCESE OF NOCERA (NUCERINENSIS) Diocese in Perugia, Umbria, Italy, near the sources of the ...
Nocera dei Pagani

Nocera Dei Pagani

(NUCERIN PAGANORUM; dei Pagani ="of the Pagans") Diocese in Salermo, Italy, at the foot of ...
Nocturns

Nocturns

( Nocturni or Nocturna ). A very old term applied to night Offices. Tertullian speaks of ...
Nogaret, Guillaume de

Guillaume de Nogaret

Born about the middle of the thirteenth century at St. Felix-en-Lauragais; died 1314; he was one ...
Nola

Nola

(NOLANA) Diocese ; suffragan of Naples. The city of Nola in the Italian Province of Caserta, ...
Nola, Giovanni Marliano da

Giovanni Marliano da Nola

Sculptor and architect, b., it is said, of a leather merchant named Giuseppe, at Nola, near ...
Nolasco, Saint Peter

St. Peter Nolasco

Born at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, near Castelnaudary, France, in 1189 (or 1182); died at ...
Nollet, Jean-Antoine

Jean-Antoine Nollet

Physicist, b. at Pimpré, Oise, France, 19 November, 1700; d. at Paris, 25 April, 1770. His ...
Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism

Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism

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

Nomination

The various methods of designating persons for ecclesiastical benefices or offices have been ...
Nomocanon

Nomocanon

(From the Greek nomos , law, and kanon , a rule) A collection of ecclesiastical law, the ...
Non Expedit

Non Expedit

("It is not expedient"). Words with which the Holy See enjoined upon Italian Catholics the ...
Non-Jurors

Non-Jurors

The name given to the Anglican Churchmen who in 1689 refused to take the oath of allegiance to ...
Nonantola

Nonantola

A former Benedictine monastery and prelature nullius , six miles north-east of Modena ...
Nonconformists

Nonconformists

A name which, in its most general acceptation, denotes those refusing to conform with the ...
None

None

This subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Origin of None; II. None from the ...
Nonnotte, Claude-Adrien

Claude-Adrien Nonnotte

Controversialist; b. in Besançon, 29 July, 1711; d. there, 3 September, 1793. At nineteen ...
Nonnus

Nonnus

Nonnus, of Panopolis in Upper Egypt (c. 400), the reputed author of two poems in hexameters; ...
Norbert, Saint

St. Norbert

Born at Kanten on the left bank of the Rhine, near Wesel, c. 1080; died at Magdeburg, 6 June, ...
Norbertines

Premonstratensian Canons

(C ANONICI R EGULARES P RÆMONSTRATENSES ). Founded in 1120 by St. Norbert at ...
Norcia

Norcia

(NORSIN). A diocese and city in Perugia, Italy, often mentioned in Roman history. In the ...
Norfolk, Catholic Dukes of

Post-Reformation Catholic Dukes of Norfolk

(Since the Reformation) Under this title are accounts only of the prominent Catholic Dukes of ...
Noris, Henry

Henry Noris

Cardinal, b. at Verona, 29 August, 1631, of English ancestry; d. at Rome, 23 Feb., 1704. He ...
Normandy

Normandy

An ancient French province, from which five "departments" were formed in 1790: ...
Norris, Sylvester

Sylvester Norris

( Alias SMITH, NEWTON). Controversial writer and English missionary priest ; b. 1570 or ...
Norsemen

Northmen (Vikings)

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...
North Carolina

North Carolina

One of the original thirteen States of the United States, is situated between 33° 53' and ...
North Dakota

North Dakota

One of the United States of America , originally included in the Louisiana Purchase. Little was ...
Northampton

Northampton

(NORTANTONIENSIS) Diocese in England, comprises the Counties of Northampton, Bedford, ...
Northcote, James Spencer

James Spencer Northcote

Born at Feniton Court, Devonshire, 26 May, 1821; d. at Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, 3 March, ...
Northern Territory

Northern Territory

(Prefecture Apostolic) The Northern Territory, formerly Alexander Land, is that part of ...
Northmen

Northmen (Vikings)

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...
Norton, Christopher

Christopher Norton

Martyr ; executed at Tyburn, 27 May, 1570. His father was Richard Norton of Norton Conyers, ...
Norway

Norway

Norway, comprising the smaller division of the Scandinavian peninsula, is bounded on the east by ...
Norwich, Ancient Diocese of

Ancient Diocese of Norwich

(NORDOVICUM; NORVICUM). Though this see took its present name only in the eleventh century, ...
Notaries

Notaries

( Latin notarius ). Persons appointed by competent authority to draw up official or authentic ...
Notburga

Jean-Baptiste Nothomb

Jean-Baptiste Belgian statesman, b. 3 July, 1805, at Messancy, Luxemburg ; d. at Berlin, 16 ...
Notburga, Saint

St. Notburga

Patroness of servants and peasants, b. c. 1265 at Rattenberg on the Inn; d. c. 16 September, 1313. ...
Nothomb, Jean-Baptiste

Jean-Baptiste Nothomb

Jean-Baptiste Belgian statesman, b. 3 July, 1805, at Messancy, Luxemburg ; d. at Berlin, 16 ...
Notitia Dignitatum

Notitia Dignitatum

(Register of Offices). The official handbook of the civil and military officials in the later ...
Notitia Provinciarum et Civitatum Africae

Notitia Provinciarum Et Civitatum Africae

(List of the Provinces and Cities of Africa). A list of the bishops and their sees in the ...
Notitiae Episcopatuum

Notitiae Episcopatuum

The name given to official documents that furnish for Eastern countries the list and hierarchical ...
Notker

Notker

Among the various monks of St. Gall who bore this name, the following are the most important: ...
Noto

Noto

(NETEN). Noto, the ancient Netum and after the Saracen conquest the capital of one of the ...
Notoriety, Notorious

Notoriety

( Latin Notorietas, notorium , from notus , known). Notoriety is the quality or the ...
Notre Dame de Montreal, Congregation of

Congregation of Notre Dame de Montreal

Marguerite Bourgeoys, the foundress, was born at Troyes, France, 17 April, 1620. She was the ...
Notre Dame, School Sisters of

School Sisters of Notre Dame

A religious community devoted to education. In the United Sates they have conducted parish ...
Notre Dame, Sisters of (of Cleveland, Ohio)

Sisters of Notre Dame (Cleveland, Ohio)

A branch of the congregation founded by Blessed Julie Billiart. In 1850, Father Elting of ...
Notre Dame, University of

University of Notre Dame

(Full name is the University of Notre Dame du Lac ). Notre Dame is located in Northern ...
Notre-Dame de Namur, Institute of

Institute of Notre-Dame de Namur

Founded in 1803 at Amiens, France, by Bl. Julie Billiart (b. 1751 d. 1816) and ...
Notre-Dame de Sion, Congregation of

Congregation of Notre-Dame de Sion

Religious institute of women, founded at Paris in May 1843, by Marie-Théodore and ...
Nottingham

Nottingham

(NOTTINGHAMIEN) One of the original twelve English dioceses created at the time of the ...
Nourrisson, Jean-Felix

Jean-Felix Nourrisson

Philosopher, b. at Thiers, Department of Puy-de-Dôme, 18 July, 1825; d. at Paris, 13 June, ...
Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

I. GEOGRAPHY Nova Scotia is one of the maritime provinces of Canada. It forms part of what was ...
Novara

Novara

(NOVARIENSIS). A diocese and the capital of the province of Novara, Piedmont, Italy, noted ...
Novatianism

Novatian and Novatianism

Novatian was a schismatic of the third century, and founder of the sect of the Novatians; he ...
Novatus, Saint

St. Novatus

St. Novatus, who is mentioned on 20 June with his brother, the martyr Timotheus, was the son of ...
Novello, Blessed Agostino

Bl. Agostino Novello

(Matteo Di Termini), born in the first half of the thirteenth century, at Termini, a village of ...
Novena

Novena

(From novem , nine.) A nine days' private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to ...
Novice

Novice

I. DEFINITION AND REQUIREMENTS The word novice , which among the Romans meant a newly acquired ...
Nubia

Nubia

Located in North-eastern Africa, extending from Sennar south to beyond Khartoum and including the ...
Nueva Cáceres

Nueva Caceres

(NOVA CACERES) Diocese created in 1595 by Clement VIII ; it is one of the four suffragan ...
Nueva Pamplona

Nueva Pamplona

(NEO-PAMPILONENSIS). Diocese in Colombia, South America, founded in 1549 and a see erected by ...
Nueva Segovia

Nueva Segovia

(NOVAE SEGOBIAE) Diocese in the Philippines, so called from Segovia, a town in Spain. The town ...
Nugent, Francis

Francis Nugent

Priest of the Franciscan Capuchin Order, founder of the Irish and the Rhenish Provinces of said ...
Nugent, James

James Nugent

Philanthropist, temperance advocate and social reformer b. 3 March, 1822 at Liverpool ; d. 27 ...
Numbers, Use of, in the Church

Use of Numbers in the Church

No attentive reader of the Old Testament can fail to notice that a certain sacredness seems to ...
Numismatics

Numismatics

(From the Greek nomisma , "legal currency") Numismatics is the science of coins and of ...
Nun of Kent

Elizabeth Barton

Born probably in 1506; executed at Tyburn, 20 April, 1534; called the "Nun of Kent." The career of ...
Nunc Dimittis

Nunc Dimittis

(The Canticle of Simeon). Found in St. Luke's Gospel (2:29-32) , is the last in historical ...
Nuncio

Nuncio

An ordinary and permanent representative of the pope, vested with both political and ...
Nunez, Pedro

Pedro Nunez (Nonius)

(Pedro Nonius). Mathematician and astronomer, b. at Alcacer-do-Sol, 1492; d. at Coimbra, ...
Nuns

Nuns

I. ORIGIN AND HISTORY The institution of nuns and sisters, who devote themselves in various ...
Nuptial Mass

Nuptial Mass

"Missa pro sponso et sponsa", the last among the votive Masses in the Missal. It is composed of ...
Nuremberg

Nuremberg

(NÜRNBERG) The second largest city in Bavaria, situated in a plain on both sides of the ...
Nusco

Nusco

(N USCANA ) Diocese in the province of Avellino, Italy, suffragan of Salerno ; dates from ...
Nussbaum, Johannn Nepomuk von

Johann Nepomuk von Nussbaum

German surgeon, b. at Munich 2 Sept., 1829; d. there 31 Oct., 1890. He made his studies in the ...
Nutter, Robert, Ven.

Ven. Robert Nutter

English martyr ; b. at Burnley, Lancashire, c. 1550; executed at Lancaster, 26 July, 1600. He ...
Nuyens, Wilhelmus

Wilhelmus Nuyens

Historian, b. 18 August, 1823, at Avenhorn in Holland ; d. 10 December, 1894, at Westwoud near ...
Nyassa

Nyassa

Vicariate Apostolic in Central Africa, bounded north by the Anglo-German frontier, east by Lake ...
Nympha, Tryphon, and Respicius

Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha

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

Nyassa

Vicariate Apostolic in Central Africa, bounded north by the Anglo-German frontier, east by Lake ...
Nyssa

Nyssa (Cappadocia Prima)

A titular see in Cappadocia Prima, suffragan of Caesarea. It is mentioned by Ptolemy (V, vii, ...

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