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Novice

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I. DEFINITION AND REQUIREMENTS

The word novice , which among the Romans meant a newly acquired slave, and which is now used to denote an inexperienced person, is the canonical Latin name of those who, having been regularly admitted into a religious order and ordinarily already confirmed in their higher vocation by a certain period of probation as postulants, are prepared by a series of exercises and tests for the religious profession. In Greek, the novice was called archarios , a beginner. The religious life, recommended by Jesus Christ, is encouraged by the Church and any person is allowed to become a novice who is not prevented by some positive legal impediment. No minimum or maximum age is fixed by canon law for admission into the novitiate. Those, however, who have not arrived at puberty cannot enter without the consent of their parents or guardians ; and canon law ("Si quis", I; "De regularibus", III, 31) grants to parents one year to compel the return of a child who has entered without their consent. As the Council of Trent fixes at sixteen years the earliest age for the profession which follows the novitiate, we may conclude that the novice must have completed his fifteenth year if the religious order requires one year of novitiate; or, his fourteenth, if the two years be required, and this opinion is confirmed in respect to Regulars, properly so-called, by the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Religious dated 16 May, 1675, and for nuns by that of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars dated 28 May, 1689. According to the rules of procedure, published by the latter congregation, 28 June, 1901, no person may be admitted into a new congregation under the age of fifteen years without special permission of the Holy See. The constitution of Clement VIII, "Cum ad Regularem", of 19 March, 1603, requires the age of nineteen full years for the reception of lay-brothers, but this constitution has not been everywhere carried into effect. Canon law distinctly gives to clerics the right to enter religion (cf. Clerici, unic., c.XIX, i; Alienum, I eodem, q. 2; Benedict XIV, C. "Ex quo dilectus", 14 January, 1747; the reply of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars of 20 December, 1859; Nilles, "De libertate clericorum religionem ingrediendi"). Even those who have obtained a burse for study, or who have been maintained at the expense of the seminary retain this right, although it is admitted that the founder of a burse, or the donor of money for educational purposes may impose certain reasonable conditions for the use of his gifts, and may stipulate for instance that the cleric shall undertake to serve the diocese for a certain number of years, or not to enter into religion without the consent of the Holy See. Although the consent of the bishop is not canonically required, the cleric is recommended to inform him of his intention to enter a religious order, and a similar notification is required of any cleric or priest occupying any office or benefice. The bishop in fact must be in a position to fill the vacancy. For the entry into religion of a diocesan bishop nominated or confirmed by the Holy See, the consent of the pope is required. This does not apply to a bishop who has lawfully resigned his see, but some authors consider that it does apply to titular bishops.

However general may be the freedom to enter a religious order, no person is allowed to do this to the detriment of another's right. Thus a married man, at least after the consummation of marriage, cannot enter into religion, unless his wife has by her misconduct given him the right to refuse cohabitation forever, or unless she consents to his entrance, and agrees to make a vow of chastity or to enter into religion herself, in conformity with canonical rules. The liberty of a married woman is similarly limited ("Præterea", 1; "Cum sis:, 4; "Ad Apostolicam", 13; "Significavit", 18; "De conversione conjugatorum", III, 32). Parents may not enter into religion without making suitable provision for the education and future of their children; nor children who are under the obligation of maintaining their parents, if their religious profession would prevent them from aiding their parents in any grave necessity. Debtors also are forbidden, at least those who may be expected to be able to pay their debts within a reasonable time (this is a disputed point but we give the most commonly accepted opinion, which is that of St. Alphonsus, "Moral Theology", bk. IV, 5, n. 71). Moreover, a positive order of Sixtus V (Cum de omnibus, 1587), modified to a certain extent by Clement VIII (In Suprema, 1602), forbids the profession of persons involved in debts by their own fault. Canon law also excludes persons branded with infamy and those connected with any criminal proceeding, also those under an obligation to render accounts of a complicated nature. (C. Clement VIII, "In Suprema", 1602). An illegitimate child is not necessarily excluded, but he cannot be received into any order in which his father is professed (C. Gregory XIV, "Circumspecta", 15 March, 1591).

The canonical regulations spoken of above, concern those religious orders in which solemn vows are taken. Religious congregations are governed generally by the natural law and their own approved constitutions. According to the "Normæ" (Regulations) of 1901, the Holy See imposes the following disabilities, and reserves to itself the right of dispensation : illegitimacy, not removed by legitimation ; age, below fifteen and above thirty years; vows binding a person to another order; marriage; debts or liability to render accounts; and for nuns, widowhood. More recently, the decree "Ecclesia Christi" of 7 September, 1909, with which must be read the declarations of 4 January and 5 April, 1910, renders invalid, without the permission of the Holy See, the admission of any person who has been expelled from a college for immorality or other grave fault, or of a person who has been dismissed for any cause whatever from another religious order, a seminary, or any institution for the training of ecclesiastics or religious. A person who has obtained a dispensation from his vows cannot enter into any order but the one which he left. This decree applies both to religious orders, and to congregations with simple vows, at least to those which are not diocesan, and its effect has been extended by the order of 4 January, 1910, to religious communities of women. Only formal expulsion renders admission invalid, but the fact of leaving college or other institution under circumstances which would make it equivalent to expulsion makes it illicit, and the Holy See requires superiors to make such inquiries as are necessary to prevent the admission of undesirable persons. Another decree of 7 September, 1910, "In articulo", while not rendering the reception invalid, forbids the admission of a young man who presents himself in order to become a religious cleric, unless he has been through a course of a least four years of classical studies. (For these decrees and their explanation see "De religiosis et missionariis", vol. V).

Before the taking of the habit, exact information must be secured to make sure of the qualities and good intentions of the candidate. These precautions are happy substitutions for the rather rude test that had to be undergone in former times (see Postulant ). Besides being dictated by the natural law, they have been sanctioned for the orders of men by a Constitution of Sixtus V, "Cum de omnibus", 1587, and by another constitution, "Cum ad regularem", promulgated by Clement VIII, March 1603, and confirmed by Urban VIII. (The ordinances of Clement VIII concern Italy and the adjacent islands only.) In the celebrated Decree, "Romani Pontifices" (25 January, 1848), Pius IX laid a strict injunction on all superiors of orders and congregations of men to admit no one to the habit without testimonial letters from the ordinary of the diocese in which the candidate was born and of the dioceses in which he has lived for more than a year from the age of fifteen. This year is explained in a later declaration to mean twelve successive months spent in the same diocese. In these letters, the ordinaries ought, in as far as they can, to bear witness to the candidate's birth, age, conduct, reputation, and all other qualities that affect his entry into religion. The obligation of exacting such letters is imposed under penalty of censure, but it does not entail nullity. Their receipt does not dispense superiors from making their own inquiries.

II. JURIDICAL CONDITION

By the fact of his entrance into an approved congregation, the novice becomes an ecclesiastical person . If he is a novice in a religious order, he becomes a regular in the widest sense of the word; as such he is not bound by any vow, but he is protected by the ecclesiastical immunities, and shares in the indulgences and privileges of his order, gaining a plenary indulgence on the day of his admission, at least into an order properly so called. The prelate or superior may exercise in regard to his novices all his powers of absolution in reserved cases, and of dispensation from rules and precepts of the Church. Novices benefit also by any exemption attached to the order to which they belong. The jurisdiction communicated by the superior of the congregation suffices to absolve them. It follows apparently that a confessor approved only by the ordinary of the place could not give them valid absolution, though this point is disputed. According to the common law of regulars, the priest who is maser of novices is their only ordinary confessor. The novice is bound to obey the superior who has jurisdiction over him, and power as head of the house. He is bound by any private vows he may have taken, but these may be indirectly annulled by the superior in so far as they are contrary to the rules of the order or the exercises of the novitiate. The training of the novices is entrusted to an experienced religious, ordinarily distinct from the local superior. The latter, though obliged to respect the prerogatives of the novice-master, remains the real immediate superior of the novices, and outside that part of the house which is called the novitiate, the direction of the entire community belongs exclusively to him. By canon law, the novice retains full and entire liberty to leave his order and incurs no pecuniary responsibility by the mere fact of leaving it. Vows of devotion do not change the juridical condition of the novice, and they cease to bind if he is legally expelled. As soon as one has made up his mind to leave, it becomes his duty to inform the superior; and if he fails to do so, he becomes liable to reimburse the order for any unnecessary expense it may incur on his behalf after his decision. This is only natural justice. The order is obliged to restore to him his personal property and anything he may have brought with him. As the order is not bound to the novice by any contract, it may dismiss him. According to the regulations of 28 June, 1901, in new congregations governed by simple vows, the dismissal of a novice must be approved by the superior-general and his council. Dismissal without sufficient cause would be an offense against charity and equity, and a superior guilty of such an offense would fail in his duty to his order.

Although the reception of a novice should be gratuitous, the Council of Trent (c. 16, Sess. 25, "De regularibus") permits the order to stipulate for the payment of his expenses while in the novitiate. In order to ensure the complete liberty of the novice, the same council forbids him to make any renunciation of his property or any important gift, and annuls such renunciation if made. Parents also, to whose property the novice had a right of succession, are debarred from making any considerable donation. By common law, however, a novice may legally renounce his property within the two months immediately preceding his profession, and this renunciation should also be authorized by the bishop or his vicar-general. This formality of authorization is not always insisted upon in practice. The renunciation may extend to property of which he is already possessed, or to such as must necessarily descend to him by right of inheritance; but not seemingly to such as he has only an expectation of receiving. He is free to make over his property to his family, his order, or any pious work, or even to provide for services and Masses after his death. Although the renunciation takes effect only from the date of his profession, and becomes null and void if that profession does not take place, it is not revocable at the pleasure of the novice before his profession, unless he has reserved to himself the right to change the disposition of his property. If no renunciation has been made at the time of solemn profession, canon law assigns the property either to the monastery or to the natural heirs of the religious. Common law requires that the solemn profession shall be preceded by a period of simple vows ; before making these vows, the novice is bound to declare to whom he commits the administration of his patrimony, and how he wishes the income to be employed, and the consent of the Holy See is generally required for any change in this arrangement. The religious is entitled to provide for the administration of any additional property which may come to him after his simple profession, and for the disposal of the income of such property. The law of the Council of Trent does not concern congregations which are governed by simple vows ; but in these the power of a novice to alienate or retain his property is provided for by their constitutions. Generally speaking, the novice is bound, before taking his vows, to declare how he wishes his property to be administered, and the income expended. According to the Regulations of 1901, he may, even after making his vows, be authorized by the superior-general to modify these dispositions. The renunciation of property, though not made null and void, is forbidden to the novice. The Holy See does not approve that any obligation should be imposed upon the novice to give even the income of his property to his order; he remains free to apply it to any reasonable purpose. Solemn profession vacates all ecclesiastical benefices of which the novice was possessed; the perpetual vows of congregations governed by simple vows vacate residential benefices ; that is to say, benefices which require residence are vacated by the simple profession, which prepares the way for solemn profession, or by the temporary vows which precede perpetual vows.

III. EXERCISES

Except in the case of some special privilege of the religious order (as with the Society of Jesus ) or some unavoidable obstacle, the novice should wear a religious habit, though not necessarily the special habit of novices. It is the duty of the novice, under the guidance of the novice-master, to form himself spiritually, to learn the rules and customs of his order, and to try himself in the difficulties of the religious life. The rule ordinarily prescribes that at the outset of his religious career he shall pass some days in spiritual exercises, and make a general confession of the sins of his whole life. By the Constitution "Cum ad regularem" of 19 March, 1603, renewed under Urban VIII in the Decree "Sacra Congregatio" of 1624, Clement VIII laid down, for novitiates approved by the Holy See , some very wise rules in which he directed that there should be a certain amount of recreation, both in the house and out of doors; and he insisted on the separation of the novices from older religious. For a long time, studies, properly so called, were forbidden, at least during the first year of novitiate; but a recent decree dated 27 August, 1910, while maintaining the principle that one year of the novitiate should be devoted especially to the formation of the religious character, recommends certain studies to exercise the mental faculties of the novices, and enable their superiors to form an opinion of their talents and capacities without involving any excessive application, such as the study of the mother-tongue, Latin and Greek, repetition of work previously done, reading the works of the Fathers, etc., in short, studies appropriate to the purpose of the order. Novices, therefore, are bound to give up one hour regularly to private study on all except feast-days, and also to receive lessons limited to one hour each, not oftener than three times a week. The manner in which the novices apply themselves to these studies is to be taken into account when the question arises of their being admitted to profession (see the decree annotated in Vermeersch, "Periodica de religiosis et missionariis", vol. V, 1910, n. 442, pp. 195, 197). According to the practice of the older orders the novice receives a religious name, differing from his baptismal name.

IV. DURATION

For all religious orders, the Council of Trent prescribes a full year in the novitiate, under penalty of nullity of profession. In those orders which have a distinctive habit, the novitiate commences with the assumption of the habit; in those which have no habit, it commences from the time when the novice is received into the house lawfully assigned for the purpose by competent authority. This year must be continuous without interruption. It is interrupted whenever the bond between the order and the novice is broken by voluntary departure or legal dismissal; and also when, independently of the wish of either superior or novice, the latter is compelled to live for any considerable time in the world. A dismissal is considered to take effect when once the novice has crossed the threshold of the house; in case of a voluntary departure, a novice who has left the house, but has kept his religious habit and who returns after one or two days' absence, is considered as having given way to a temporary desire for change, not sufficient to cause him to lose the benefit of the time already spent in the novitiate. An interruption makes it necessary that the novitiate should begin afresh as if nothing had previously been done, and it differs in this respect from suspension, which is, so to speak, an interval between two effective periods of novitiate. The time which passes during the suspension does not count, only the time passed before the suspension being added to that which follows. The novitiate is suspended when a novice is withdrawn for a certain time from the superior's direction, but without changing his condition. This would happen in the case of a temporary mental aberration, or an expulsion for some reason shown afterwards to be unfounded, and therefore annulled. It is generally held that if a novice quits his order after having finished his novitiate, and is subsequently readmitted, he has not to begin his novitiate afresh, unless it appears that there has been some serious damage in his dispositions. The law of the Council of Trent does not strictly apply to congregations governed by simple vows, but the constitutions of these congregations ordinarily require a year of novitiate at least, and the "Normæ" (Regulations) of 1901 make a complete and continuous year of the novitiate one of the conditions of a valid profession.

The practice of the Holy See has been of late years to interpret this continuity much more strictly than was formerly the case. Some persons consider that one whole day passed outside the novitiate, even for some good reason, and with the permission of superior, is sufficient to render ineffective the whole of the previous probation, but this is too rigorous an interpretation of the rule. To avoid all danger of offending against canon law, superiors will do wisely not to grant permission to pass the night out of the novitiate, except for a very good reason and for a very short time. By the Constitutions of Clement VIII, "Regularis disciplinæ" of 12 March, 1596, and of Innocent XII , "Sanctissimus" of 20 June, 1699, the novitiate house must be approved by the Holy See, and the novitiate cannot be validly passed elsewhere. These directions refer to Italy and the adjacent islands, and do not apply to all religious orders. Nevertheless some authors consider them to be of universal application. The rules of congregations governed by simple vows approved by the Holy See ordinarily reserve to the Holy See the approbation of the novitiate house. Pius IX, in an Encyclical letter of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars dated 22 April, 1851, required that in all novitiates there should be a common life; pocket-money and the separate use of chattels of whatever kind (peculium) was forbidden. One part of the novitiate house should be reserved for the novices, and strictly separated from the rest of the dwelling. The novitiate cannot validly be commenced except in the house lawfully set apart for the purpose. Some authors strictly require that the novices shall never be lodged elsewhere; but, although in the orders whose novitiate is bound to be approved by the Holy See , residence in this house is rigorously insisted upon, it does not seem possible that a few days' absence should lessen the value of the probation.

V. HISTORY

The institution of a time of probation, in order to prepare the candidate who has already been admitted to the religious life for his profession, goes back to very ancient times. According to Mgr Ladeuze (Le cénobitisme Pachomien, p. 282), in spite of the testimony of the manuscript Life of St. Pachomius ( manuscript 381, "Patrologia", IV, Paris ), the novitiate did not exist in the monastery of St. Pachomius as a general institution; but from the fifth century at least it has been the rule for the Coptic monks to pass through a novitiate of three years. (See the "Coptic Ordinal" in the Bodleian Library of Oxford; Evetts in "Revue de l'Orient chrétien", II, 1906, pp. 65, 140.) This term of three years was required also in Persia in the sixth century (Labouret, "Le Christianisme en Perse", p. 80). Justinian, in approving this, says that he borrowed it from the rules of the saints, "Sancimus ergo, sacras sequentes regulas" (Novella V, "de monachis", c. 2, preface and sect. I). Many Western orders, notably that of St. Benedict, were content with one year. St. Gregory the Great in his letter to Fortunatus, Bishop of Naples, (bk. X, Letter 24, in Migne, "P.L.", LXXVII, col. 1082-7) required two years. Many orders of canons left the time to the discretion of he abbot. Common law did not prescribe any term of novitiate and this omission led to the frequent shortening, and occasionally to the entire abolition of the preparatory probation. Innocent III ["C. Apostolicum", 16, "de regularibus" (III, 31)] directs that the novitiate shall be dispensed with only in exceptional circumstances, and forbids the Mendicant Orders to make their profession within one year. Finally the Council of Trent (Sess. XXV, c. XV, "de regularibus") makes a year's novitiate an indispensable condition of valid profession. In the East, since the fourth or fifth century, the novices of Palestine, Egypt, and Tabenna have been accustomed to give up their secular dress, and put on the habit given them by the community. This habit is distinguished from that of the professed by the absence of the cuculla or cowl. Those of St. Basil kept their habits. This practice, sanctioned by Justinian (Novella, V, c. 2), was also that of St. Benedict and the Benedictines, but the contrary use has for a long time past prevailed. (See Profession; Postulant ; Nuns.)

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More Volume: N 287

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Necessity

Necessity

Necessity, in a general way, denotes a strict connection between different beings, or the ...
Neckam, Alexander of

Alexander of Neckam

( Or Necham.) English scholar, born in Hertfordshire, 1157; died at Kempsey, Worcestershire, ...
Necrologies

Necrologies

Necrologies, or, as they are more frequently called in France, obituaires , are the registers ...
Necromancy

Necromancy

( nekros , "dead", and manteia , "divination") Necromancy is a special mode of divination ...
Nectarius

Nectarius

( Nechtarios ), Patriarch of Constantinople, (381-397), died 27 Sept, 397, eleventh bishop of ...
Negligence

Negligence

( Latin nec , not, and legere , to pick out). The condition of not heeding. More ...
Nehemiah, Book of

Book of Nehemiah

Also called the second Book of Esdras (Ezra), is reckoned both in the Talmud and in the early ...
Neher, Stephan Jakob

Stephan Jakob Neher

Church historian ; b. at Ebnat, 24 July, 1829; d. at Nordhausen, 7 Oct., 1902. His family were ...
Nemore, Jordanus (Jordanis) de

Jordanus de Nemore

The name given in manuscripts of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries to a mathematician who ...
Nemrod

Nemrod

Also N IMROD ( nmrd of uncertain signification, Septuagint Nebród ). The name of ...
Neo-Platonism

Neo-Platonism

General survey A system of idealistic, spiritualistic philosophy, tending towards mysticism, ...
Neo-Pythagorean Philosophy

Neo-Pythagorean Philosophy

The ethico-religious society founded by Pythagoras, which flourished especially in Magna ...
Neo-Scholasticism

Neo-Scholasticism

Neo-Scholasticism is the development of the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages during the latter ...
Neocæsarea

Neocaesarea (Hierapolis)

A titular see, suffragan of Hierapolis in the Patriarchate of Antioch sometimes called ...
Neocæsarea

Neocaesarea

A titular see of Pontus Polemoniacus, at first called Cabira, one of the favourite residences ...
Neophyte

Neophyte

Neophyte ( neophytoi , the newly planted, i.e. incorporated with the mystic Body of Christ), a ...
Nephtali

Nephtali

(A.V., N APHTALI ) Sixth son of Jacob and Bala ( Genesis 30:8 ). The name is explained ...
Nepi and Sutri

Nepi and Sutri

Nepi and Sutri (Nepsin et Sutrin), united sees of the province of Rome, central Italy, in the ...
Nepveu, Francis

Francis Nepveu

Writer on ascetical subjects, b. at St. Malo, 29 April, 1639; entered the novitiate of the ...
Nereus and Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancratius, Saints

Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancratius

The commemoration of these four Roman saints is made by the Church on 12 May, in common, and ...
Neri, Antonio

Antonio Neri

Florentine chemist, born in Florence ln the sixteenth century; died 1614, place unknown. We have ...
Neri, Saint Philip Romolo

St. Philip Romolo Neri

THE APOSTLE OF ROME. Born at Florence, Italy, 22 July, 1515; died 27 May, 1595. Philip's ...
Nerinckx, Charles

Charles Nerinckx

Missionary priest in Kentucky, founder of the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross, born ...
Nero

Nero

Nero, the last Roman emperor (reigned 54-68) of the Julian-Claudian line, was the son of Domitius ...
Nerses I-IV

Nerses I-IV

Armenian patriarchs. Nerses I Surnamed "the Great". Died 373. Born of the royal stock, he ...
Nerses of Lambron

Nerses of Lambron

Born 1153 at Lambron, Cilicia; died 1198; son of Oschin II, prince of Lambron and nephew of the ...
Nestorius and Nestorianism

Nestorius and Nestorianism

I. THE HERESIARCH Nestorius, who gave his name to the Nestorian heresy, was born at Germanicia, ...
Netherlands, The

The Netherlands

( German Niederlande ; French Pays Bas ). The Netherlands, or Low Countries, as organized by ...
Netter, Thomas

Thomas Netter

Theologian and controversialist, b. at Saffron Waldon, Essex, England, about 1375; d. at Rouen, ...
Neugart, Trudpert

Trudpert Neugart

Benedictine historian, born at Villingen, Baden, 23 February, 1742; died at St Paul's ...
Neum

Neum

(Latin, neuma, pneuma, or neupma, from Greek pneûma, a nod). A term in medieval ...
Neumann, Johann Balthasar

Johann Balthasar Neumann

Born 1687 at Eger; died 1753 at Würzburg, master of the rococo style and one of the ...
Neumayr, Franz

Franz Neumayr

Preacher, writer on theological, controversial and ascetical subjects, and author of many ...
Neusohl

Neusohl

Diocese of Neusohl (Hung. Beszterczebànya; Lat. Neosoliensis), founded in 1776 by Maria ...
Neutra

Neutra

(Nitria; Nyitha) -- Diocese of Neutra (Nitriensis). Diocese in Western Hungary, a suffragan of ...
Nevada

Nevada

A Western state of the United States , bounded on the North by Oregon and Idaho, on the East ...
Neve

Neve

Titular see of Arabia, suffragan of Bostra. Two of its bishops are known: Petronius, who ...
Nevers

Nevers

(Nivernum) Diocese ; includes the Department of Nièvre, in France. Suppressed by the ...
Neville

Neville

(1) Edmund Neville ( alias Sales), a Jesuit, born at Hopcut, Lancashire, 1605; died in ...
New Abbey

New Abbey

The Abbey of Sweetheart, named New Abbey Pow, or New Abbey, in order to distinguish it, from ...
New Caledonia

New Caledonia

VICARIATE APOSTOLIC New Caledonia, one of the largest islands of Oceania, lies about 900 miles ...
New Guinea

New Guinea

The second largest island and one of the least known countries of the world, lies immediately ...
New Hampshire

New Hampshire

The most northerly of the thirteen original states of the United States, lying between 70°37' ...
New Jersey

New Jersey

One of the original thirteen states of the American Union. It ratified the Federal Constitution ...
New Mexico

New Mexico

A territory of the United States now (Jan., 1911) awaiting only the completion of its ...
New Norcia

New Norcia

A Benedictine abbey in Western Australia, founded on 1 March, 1846, by a Spanish Benedictine, ...
New Orleans

New Orleans

ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW ORLEANS (NOVÆ AURELIÆ). Erected 25 April, 1793, as the Diocese of ...
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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