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Religion

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  • I. Derivation, Analysis, and Definition.
  • II. Subjective Religion.
  • III. Objective Religion.
  • IV. The Origin of Religion.
  • V. The Universality of Religion.
  • VI. The Civilizing Influence of Religion.
  • VII. The Modern Scientific Study of Religion.

I. DERIVATION, ANALYSIS, AND DEFINITION

The derivation of the word "religion" has been a matter of dispute from ancient times. Not even today is it a closed question. Cicero, in his "De natura deorum", II, xxviii, derives religion from relegere (to treat carefully): "Those who carefully took in hand all things pertaining to the gods were called religiosi , from relegere ." Max Muller favoured this view. But as religion is an elementary notion long antedating the time of complicated ritual presupposed in this explanation, we must seek elsewhere for its etymology. A far more likely derivation, one that suits the idea of religion in its simple beginning, is that given by Lactantius, in his "Divine Institutes", IV, xxviii. He derives religion from religare (to bind): "We are tied to God and bound to Him [ religati ] by the bond of piety, and it is from this, and not, as Cicero holds, from careful consideration [ relegendo ], that religion has received its name." The objection that religio could not be derived from religare , a verb of the first conjugation, is not of great weight, when we call to mind that opinio omes from opinari , and rebellio from rebellare . St. Augustine, in his "City of God", X, iii, derives religio from religere in the sense of recovering: "having lost God through neglect [ negligentes ], we recover Him [ religentes ] and are drawn to Him." This explanation, implying the notion of the Redemption, is not suited to the primary idea of religion. St. Augustine himself was not satisfied with it, for in his "Retractions", I, xiii, he abandoned it in favour of the derivation given by Lactantius. He employs the latter meaning in his treatise "On the True Religion", where he says: "Religion binds us [ religat ] to the one Almighty God ." St. Thomas, in his "Summa", II-II, Q. lxxxi, a. 1, gives all three derivations without pronouncing in favour of any. The correct one seems to be that offered by Lactantius. Religion in its simplest form implies the notion of being bound to God ; the same notion is uppermost in the word religion in its most specific sense, as applied to the life of poverty, chastity, and obedience to which individuals voluntarily bind themselves by vows more or less solemn. Hence those who are thus bound are known as religious.

Religion, broadly speaking, means the voluntary subjection of oneself to God. It exists in its highest perfection in heaven, where the angels and saints love, praise, and adore God, and live in absolute conformity to His holy will. It does not exist at all in hell, where the subordination of rational creatures to their Creator is one not of free will, but of physical necessity. On earth it is practically coextensive with the human race, though, where it has not been elevated to the supernatural plane through Divine revelation, it labours under serious defects.

It is with religion as affecting the life of man on earth that this article deals. The analysis of the idea of religion shows that it is very complex, and rests on several fundamental conceptions. It implies first of all the recognition of a Divine personality in and behind the forces of nature, the Lord and Ruler of the world, God. In the highest religions, this supernatural Being is conceived as a spirit, one and indivisible, everywhere present in nature, but distinct from it. In the lower religions, the various phenomena of nature are associated with a number of distinct personalities, though it is rare that among these numerous nature-deities one is not honoured as supreme. Ethical qualities corresponding to the prevailing ethical standards, are attributed by the different peoples to their respective deities.

In every form of religion is implied the conviction that the mysterious, supernatural Being (or beings) has control over the lives and destinies of men. Especially in lower grades of culture, where the nature and utilization of physical laws is but feebly understood, man feels in many ways his helplessness in the presence of the forces of nature : it is the Divine Being that controls them; He it is that can direct them for man's weal or woe. There thus arises in the natural order a sense of dependence on the Deity, deeply felt need of Divine help. This lies at the basis of religion. Still it is not the recognition of dependence on God that constitutes the very essence of religion, indispensable as it is. The damned recognize their dependence on God, but, being without hope of Divine help, are turned from, rather than towards, Him. Coupled with the sense of need is the persuasion on the part of man that he can bring himself into friendly, beneficent communion with the Deity or deities on whom he feels he depends. He is a creature of hope. Feeling his helplessness and need of Divine assistance, pressed down, perhaps, by sickness, loss, and defeat, recognizing that in friendly communion with the Deity he can find aid, peace, and happiness, he is led voluntarily to perform certain acts of homage meant to bring about this desired result. What man aims at in religion is communion with the Deity, in which he hopes to attain his happiness and perfection. This perfection is but crudely conceived in lower religions. Conformity to the recognized moral standard, which is generally low, is not wholly neglected, but it is less an object of solicitude than material welfare. The sum of happiness looked for is prosperity in the present life and a continuation of the same bodily comforts in the life to come. In the higher religions, the perfection sought in religion becomes more intimately associated with moral goodness. In Christianity, the highest of religions, communion with God implies spiritual perfection of the highest possible kind, the participation in the supernatural life of grace as the children of God. This spiritual perfection, bringing with it perfect happiness, is realized in part at least in the present life of pain and disappointment, but is to be found fully attained in the life to come. The desire of happiness and perfection is not the only motive that prompts man to do homage to God. In the higher religions there is also the sense of duty arising from the recognition of God's sovereignty, and consequently of His strict right to the subjection and worship of man. To this must also be added the love of God for His own sake, inasmuch as He is the infinitely perfect Being, in whom truth, beauty, and goodness are realized in their highest possible degree. While the prevailing motive in all lower religions is one of self-interest, the desire of happiness, it generally implies to some extent an affectionate as well as reverent attitude towards the deities that are the object of worship.

From what has been said it is plain that the concept of deity required for religion is that of a free personality. The error of mistaking many nature-deities for the one true God vitiates, but does not destroy, religion. But religion ceases to exist where, as in Pantheism, the deity is pronounced to be devoid of all consciousness. A deity without personality is no more capable of awakening the sense of religion in the heart of man than is the all-pervading ether or the universal force of gravitation. Religion is essentially a personal relation, the relation of the subject and creature, man, to his Lord and Creator, God. Religion may thus be defined as the voluntary subjection of oneself to God, that is to the free, supernatural Being (or beings) on whom man is conscious of being dependent, of whose powerful help he feels the need, and in whom he recognizes the source of his perfection and happiness. It is a voluntary turning to God. In the last analysis it is an act of the will. In other words it is a virtue, since it is an act of the will inclining man to observe the right order, springing from his dependence on God. Hence St. Thomas (II-II, Q. lxxxi, a. 1) defines religion as "virtus per quam homines Deo debitum cultum et reverentiam exhibent" (the virtue which prompts man to render to God the worship and reverence that is His by right ). The end of religion is filial communion with God, in which we honour and revere Him as our supreme Lord, love Him as our Father, and find in that reverent service of filial love our true perfection and happiness. Bliss-giving communion with the sovereign Deity is, as has been pointed out, the end of all religions. Primitive Buddhism, with its aim to secure unconscious repose (Nirvana) through personal effort independently of Divine aid, seems to be an exception. But even in primitive Buddhism communion with the gods of India was retained as an element of lay belief and aspiration, and it was only by substituting the ideal of Divine communion for that of Nirvana that Buddhism became a popular religion.

Thus, in its strictest sense, religion on its subjective side is the disposition to acknowledge our dependence on God, and on the objective side it is the voluntary acknowledgement of that dependence through acts of homage. It calls into play not simply the will, but the intellect, the imagination, and the emotions. Without the conception of personal deity, religion would not exist. The recognition of the unseen world stirs the imagination. The emotions, too, are called into exercise. The need of Divine help gives rise to the longing for communion with God. The recognized possibility of attaining this end engenders hope. The consciousness of acquired friendship with a protector so good and powerful excites joy. The obtaining of benefits in answer to prayer prompts to thankfulness. The immensity of God's power and wisdom calls up feelings of awe. The consciousness of having offended and estranged Him, and of thus deserving punishment, leads to fear and sorrow and the desire of reconciliation. Crowning all is the emotion of love springing from the contemplation of God's wonderful goodness and excellence. Hence we see how wide of the mark are the attempts to limit religion to the exercise of a particular faculty, or to identify it with ritual or with ethical conduct. Religion is not adequately described as "the knowledge acquired by the finite spirit of its essence as absolute spirit" ( Hegel ), nor as "the perception of the infinite " (Max Muller), nor as "a determination of man's feeling of absolute dependence" (Schleiermacher), nor as "the recognition of all our duties as divine commands" ( Kant ), nor as morality touched by emotion" (Mathew Arnold), nor as "the earnest direction of the emotions and desires towards an ideal object recognized as of the highest excellence and as rightly paramount over selfish objects of desire" (J. S. Mill). These definitions, in so far as they are true, are only partial characterizations of religion.

Religion answers to a deeply felt need in the heart of man. Above the needs of the individual are the needs of the family, and higher still are the needs of the clan and people. On the welfare of the people depends that of the individual. Hence we find that religion in its outward worship is to a large extent a social function. The chief rites are public rites, performed in the name, and for the benefit, of the whole community. It is by social action that religious worship is maintained and preserved. Only in the society of one's fellow-men does one develop one's mental and moral faculties, and acquire religion. Religion is distinguished into natural and supernatural. By natural religion is meant the subjection of oneself to God, based on such knowledge of God and of man's moral and religious duties as the human mind can acquire by its own unaided powers. It does not, however, exclude theophanies and Divine revelations made with the view to confirm religion in the natural order. Supernatural religion implies a supernatural end, gratuitously bestowed on man, namely a lively union with God through sanctifying grace, begun and imperfectly attained here, but completed in heaven, where the beatific vision of God will be its eternal reward. It also implies a special Divine revelation , through which man comes to know this end as well as the Divinely appointed means for its attainment. Subjection of oneself to God, based on this knowledge of faith and kept fruitful by grace, is supernatural religion.

II. SUBJECTIVE RELIGION

Religion on its subjective side is essentially, but not exclusively, an affair of the will, the will to acknowledge by acts of homage man's dependence on God. We have already seen that the imagination and the emotions are important factors in subjective religion. The emotions, elicited by the recognition of dependence on God and by the deeply felt need of Divine help, give greater efficacy to the deliberate exercise of the virtue of religion. It is worthy of note that the emotions awakened by the religious consciousness are such as make for a healthy optimism. The predominant tones of religion are those of hope, joy, confidence, love, patience, humility, the purpose of amendment, and aspiration towards high ideals. All these are the natural accompaniments of the persuasion that through religion man is living in friendly communion with God. The view that fear is in most instances the spring of religious action is untenable.

In subjective religion several virtues must be included, most of them being of an emotional character. The proper exercise of the virtue of religion involves three cooperant virtues having God as their direct object, and hence known as the "theological virtues ". First there is faith. Strictly speaking, faith as a virtue is the reverent disposition to submit the human mind to the Divine, to accept on Divine authority what has been revealed by God. In the wide sense, as applying to all religions, it is the pious acceptance of the fundamental notions of Deity and of man's relation to Deity contained in the religious traditions of the community. In practically all religions there is an exercise of authoritative teaching in regard to the intellectual basis of religion, the things to be believed. These things individuals do not acquire independently, through direct intuition or discursive reasoning. They come to know them from the teaching of parents and elders, and from the observance of sacred rites and customs. They take these teachings on authority, made venerable by immemorial usage, so that to reject them would be reprobated as an act of impiety. Thus, while man has the capacity to arrive at a knowledge of the fundamentals of religion by the independent exercise of his reason, he regularly comes to know them through the authoritative teaching of his elders. Faith of this kind is practically an indispensable basis of religion. In the supernatural order, faith is absolutely indispensable. If man has been raised to a special supernatural end, it is only by revelation that he can come to know that end and the Divinely appointed means for its attainment. Such a revelation necessarily implies faith. For the exercise of the virtue of religion hope is absolutely indispensable. Hope is the expectation of securing and maintaining bliss-bringing communion with the Deity. In the natural order it rests on the conception of Deity as a morally good personality, inviting confidence. It is also sustained by the recognized instances of Divine providence. In the Christian religion hope is raised to the supernatural plane, being based on the promises of God made known through the revelation of Christ. The absence of hope paralyzes the virtue of religion. For this reason the damned are no longer capable of religion. Thirdly, the love of God for His own sake is a concomitant of the virtue of religion, being needed for its perfection. In some lower forms of religion, it is largely, if not wholly, absent. The Deity is honoured chiefly for the sake of personal advantage. Still, in perhaps the majority of religions, at least the beginnings of a filial affection for the Deity are felt. Such affection seems to be implied in generous offerings and in expressions of thankfulness so common in religious rites. Closely associated with the virtues of hope and love, and hence intimately connected with religion as exercised by man in his frailty, is the virtue of repentance. With all his zeal for religion, man is constantly lapsing into offences against the Deity. These offences, whether ritual or moral, deliberate or involuntary, present themselves as obstacles more or less fatal to the bliss-bringing communion with the Deity which is the end of religion. The fear of forfeiting the good will and help of the Deity, and of incurring His punishment, gives rise to regret, which in higher religions is made more meritorious by the sorrow felt for having offended so good a God. Hence the offender is prompted to acknowledge his fault and to seek reconciliation, so as to restore to its integrity the ruptured union of friendship with God.

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III. OBJECTIVE RELIGION

Objective religion comprises the acts of homage that are the effects of subjective religion, and also the various phenomena which are viewed as the manifestations of good will by the Deity. We may distinguish in objective religion a speculative and a practical part.

A. Speculative

The speculative part embraces the intellectual basis of religion, those concepts of God and man, and of man's relation to God, which are the object of faith, whether natural or supernatural. Of vital importance to right religion are correct views concerning the existence of a personal God, Divine providence and retribution, the immortality of the soul, free will , and moral responsibility. Hence the need is recognized of firmly establishing the grounds of theistic belief, and of refuting the errors that weaken or destroy the virtue of religion. Polytheism vitiates religion, in so far as it confounds the one true God with a number of fictitious beings, and distributes among these the reverent service that belongs to God alone. Religion is absolutely quenched in Atheism, which tries to substitute for the personal Deity blind physical forces. Equally destructive is Pantheism, which views all things as emanations of an impersonal, unconscious world-ground. Agnosticism, in declaring that we have not sufficient grounds for asserting the existence of God, also makes religion impossible. Scarcely less fatal is Deism, which, putting God far from the visible world, denies Divine providence and the efficacy of prayer. Wherever religion has flourished, we find a deeply rooted belief in Divine providence. Free will -- with its necessary implication, moral responsibility -- is taken for granted in the creeds of most religions. It is only in grades of higher culture, where philosophic speculation has given occasion to the denial of free will, that this important truth is emphasized. Belief in the immortality of the soul is to be found in practically all religions, though the nature of the soul and the character of the future life are in most religions crudely conceived. Divine retribution is also an element of religious belief throughout the world. One of the common errors fostered in recent works on anthropology and the history of religions is that only in the higher religions is moral conduct found to rest on religious sanction. While the standard of right and wrong in lower religions is often grossly defective, allowing the existence of impure and cruel rites, it is nevertheless true that what is reprobated as morally evil is very generally viewed as an offence against the Deity, entailing punishment in some form unless expiated. Many religions, even those of savage and barbarous tribes, distinguish between the fate of the good and that of the bad after death. The bad go to a place of suffering, or they perish utterly, or they are reborn in vile animal forms. Practically all give evidence of belief in retribution in the present life, as may be seen from the universal use of ordeals, oaths, and the widespread recourse to penitential rites in times of great distress.

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These fundamental elements of belief have their legitimate place in the Christian religion, in which they are found corrected, supplemented, and completed by a larger knowledge of God and of His purposes in regard to man. God, having destined man for filial communion with Himself in the life of grace, has through the Incarnation and Redemption of Christ brought within the reach of man the truths and practices needed for the attainment of this end. Thus, in Christianity the things to be believed and the things to be done in order to obtain salvation have the guarantee of Divine authority. Right belief is thus essential to religion, if man is to do justice to his moral and religious duties and thereby secure his perfection. The popular cry of today for religion without dogma comes from the failure to recognize the supreme importance of right belief. The dogmatic teachings of Christianity, supplementing and perfecting the intellectual basis of natural religion, are not to be looked on as a mere series of intellectual puzzles. They have a practical purpose. They serve to enlighten man on the whole range of his religious and ethical duties, on the proper fulfilment of which depends his supernatural perfection. Closely allied with the data of revelation are the attempts to determine their mutual relations, to explain them as far as possible in terms of sound science and philosophy, and to draw from them their legitimate deductions. Out of this field of religious study has arisen the science of theology. Corresponding with this in function, but the very opposite of it in worth, is the mythology of pagan religions. Mythology is the product partly of the tendency of the human mind to realize and partly of man's attempts to account for the origins of such factors in life as fire, disease, death, and to explain the succession of natural phenomena in an age of ignorance when a fanciful personification of nature's forces occupied the place of scientific knowledge. Hence arose the mythical stories of the gods both great and small, many of which in later generations gave scandal because of their absurdity and immorality. Mythology, being born of ignorance and unbridled fancy, has no legitimate place in sound religious belief.

B. Practical

The practical part comprises (1) the acts of homage whereby man acknowledges God's dominion and seeks His help and friendship, and (2) the extraordinary religious experiences viewed by the worshippers as manifestations of Divine good will.

(1) The acts of homage may be distinguished into three classes: (a) the direct acts of worship; (b) the regulation of conduct outside the sphere of moral obligation ; (c) the regulation of conduct within the recognized sphere of moral obligation.

(a) Acts of Worship. The acts of worship proper consist of those which directly express adoration, thanksgiving, petition, and propitiation. In these are included acts of faith, hope, love, humility, and repentance. They take the external form of prayer and sacrifice. Prayer, as an outward act, is the verbal communication of man's thoughts and needs to God. In the lower religions petitions for earthly favours are the chief objects of prayer. Expressions of thanks, too, are not unknown. Besides these there are in the higher religions prayers of adoration, of petition for moral improvement, also penitential prayers. Sacrifice is equally common with prayer. Scholars are not all agreed as to the primary idea underlying the use of sacrifice. The most likely view is that sacrifice is primarily a token of respect in the form of a gift. It is often called a gift or offering, even in Holy Scripture (cf. Genesis 4:3-5 ; Matthew 5:23 ). Among the nations of antiquity, as well as most peoples of today, no inferior would think of approaching his superior without bringing a gift. It is a token of respect and good will. It is not a bribe, as some have objected, though it may degenerate into such. In like manner, man from the earliest times, in doing homage to the Deity, came into His presence with a gift. Besides being a visible proof of man's respect, the gift also signified that all things were God's. The giving over of the object to the Deity implied that it no longer belonged to the worshipper, but was made the sacred property of the Deity ( sacrificium ). Being thus removed from ordinary use, it was passed over to the Deity by a total or partial destruction. Liquid offerings were poured out on the ground. Food offerings were generally burned. Others were cast into rivers or the sea. Very frequently, in the food offerings, only part was destroyed by fire, the rest being eaten by the worshippers. In this way was symbolized the friendly union of the Deity and the worshippers. In some eases the underlying idea was that man was the privileged guest at the Divine banquet, partaking of the sacred food consecrated to the Deity. It thus had a quasi-sacramental significance. In the ancient Hebrew religion there were food offerings, including bloody sacrifices of animal victims. These were types of the great atoning sacrifice of Christ. In the Catholic religion, the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is perpetuated by the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass, in which the eternal Lamb of God is offered under the appearance of bread and wine and is devoutly consumed by priest and faithful. The use of sacrifice has led to the office of priest. In the beginning, sacrifice, like prayer, was of the simplest kind and was offered by the individual for his personal needs, by the head of the family or clan for its members collectively, and by the chief or king for the whole people.

With the growth of ceremonial prayers and rites, the office of sacrifice gave rise to the class of priests whose duty it was to make the offerings in strict conformity with the complicated ritual. The institution of the office of priest is thus later than that of sacrifice. Sacrifices were first made under the open sky on raised hearths of earth or stone, which became altars. For the protection of permanent altars temples came to be built. The most solemn sacrifices were those offered in behalf of the people for the obtaining of public benefits. To accommodate the large concourse of worshippers, the temples were often built on a grand scale, surpassing in magnificence the palaces of the kings. From the earliest times religion was thus the great inspiring influence in the development of architecture and the decorative arts. The arts of sculpture and painting owe much to the religious use of images and pictures, which from time immemorial have been associated with worship. In acquiring notions of invisible, intangible beings, man has generally made large use of the imagination, which, while it often misrepresents, serves to concretize and make real the things he recognizes but only vaguely grasps. This has led to the fashioning of forms in wood and stone to represent the mysterious beings to whom man looks for aid. These forms are apt to be repulsive where the art of sculpture is rudimentary. In the higher nations of antiquity, the making of sacred images in wood, stone, and metal was carried to a high degree of perfection. Their use degenerated into idolatry where Polytheism prevailed. The Christian religion has allowed the use of statues and paintings to represent the Incarnate Son of God, the saints, and angels, and these images are a legitimate aid to devotion, since the honour that is given them is but relative, being directed through them to the beings they represent. It is like the relative honour given to the flag of the nation. The times and places of external worship deserve passing notice. In most religions we find certain days of the year set apart for the more solemn acts of sacrificial worship: some of these are suggested by recurring phenomena of nature (the new and full moon, spring-time with its awakening vegetation, autumn with its ripened harvests, the two solstices); others commemorate historic events of great importance for the religious life of the people. Hence the widespread observance of religious festivals, when public sacrifices are offered with elaborate ritual and are accompanied with feasting and rest from ordinary business. In like manner certain places, made venerable by immemorial worship or by association with reputed visions, oracles, and miraculous cures, come to be singled out as the spots most suitable for public worship. Shrines and temples are built, to which a peculiar sanctity attaches, and annual pilgrimages are made to them from distant places.

The emotional element in external worship is a feature that cannot be overlooked. The solemn prayers and sacrifices to the Deity in behalf of the community are embellished with ritual acts expressive of the emotions brought into play in religious worship. The desire and hope of Divine help, joy at its possession, gratitude for favours received, distress at the temporary estrangement of the offended Deity -- all these emotions quicken the acts of worship and find expression in chants, instrumental music, dances, processions, and stately ceremonial. These expressions of feeling are also powerful means of arousing feeling, and thus give an intense earnestness to religion. This emotional element enters into the external worship of every religion, but its extent and character vary considerably, being determined by the particular standard of propriety prevailing in a given grade of culture. Uncultured peoples, as a rule, are more emotional and more impulsive in expressing their emotions than are peoples of a high grade of culture. Hence the worship in lower religions is generally characterized by noisy, extravagant action and spectacular display. This is especially shown in their sacred dances, which are for the most part violent, and from our point of view fantastic, but which are executed in a spirit of great earnestness. The early Hebrew religion, like most of the religions of antiquity, had its sacred dances. They are a popular feature of Islamism today. They have been wisely set aside in Christian worship , though in a very few places, as at Echternach in Luxemburg, and in the Seville cathedral, religious dancing gives a local colour to the celebration of certain festivals. Instrumental and vocal music is a most fitting framework for liturgical prayers and solemn sacrifices. The beginnings of music were necessarily rude. Under the influence of religion, the rhythmic chants grew into inspiring hymns and psalms, giving rise to the sacred poetic literature of many nations. In the Christian religion sacred poetry, melody, and polyphonic music have been carried to the height of perfection. Closely allied with the religious dance, yet, when duly circumscribed, not objectionable to refined taste, is the pageantry of religious ceremonial -- the employment of numerous officiating ministers dressed in striking costumes to perform a solemn, complicated function, or the religious procession, in which the ministers, bearing sacred objects, are accompanied by a long line of worshippers, marching to the sound of soul stirring hymns and instrumental music. All this makes a profound impression on the spectators. The Catholic Church has shown her wisdom by taking into her liturgy such of these elements as are the legitimate and dignified expression of religious feeling.

(b) Regulation of Conduct outside the Sphere of Moral Obligation. This element is common to all religions. It is exemplified in the purifications, fasts, privation of certain kinds of food, abstinence at times from conjugal intercourse, cessation on certain days from ordinary occupations, mutilations, and self-inflicted pains. Most of these serve as preparations, immediate or remote, for the solemn acts of worship for which ceremonial purity is generally required. Hence many of them are embodied in rites closely associated with Divine worship. Most of these practices rest on a sense of fitness strengthened by immemorial custom. To neglect or disregard them is thought to entail calamities. Thus they have a quasi-religious sanction. In the Hebrew religion practices of this kind rested for the most part on express Divine commands. This was even true of circumcision, which, while being a mutilation of a minor sort (the only form of mutilation tolerated in the Old Law ), was given a highly moral signification, and made to serve as the token of God's covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The Sabbath rest, transferred in Christianity to Sunday, is likewise based on an express Divine command. To this class of external acts of homage belong also the various forms of asceticism that prevail in many religions. Such are the restrictive works of piety involving inconvenience, pain, and abstinence from legitimate enjoyments, voluntarily undertaken with the view to merit a larger share of Divine favour and to secure more than ordinary sanctity and perfection. In the lower religions the ascetic tendency has often degenerated into repulsive forms of mortification based on purely selfish ends. In Christianity the various forms of self-denial, particularly the counsels of perfection (poverty, chastity, and obedience) cultivated in the spirit of Divine love, have led to the flourishing of the ascetic life within the limits of true religious propriety.

(c) Regulation of Conduct within the Recognized Sphere of Moral Obligation. The class of acts which fall within its sphere implies that the sovereign Deity is the guardian of the moral law. Moral duties, to the extent that they are recognized, are viewed as Divine commands. Their fulfilment merits Divine approval and reward; their violation entails Divine punishment. Unfortunately the moral standard of peoples in lower grades of culture has been as a rule grossly defective. Many things shocking to our moral sense have been done by them without the consciousness of wrong-doing. Being generally given to incontinence, polygamy, deeds of violence, and even to cannibalism, they have naturally attributed the same sentiments and practices to their gods. The religious sanction thus conceived lends strength to both the good and the evil side of their imperfect standard of conduct. While it helps them to avoid certain gross forms of wrong-doing, patent even to minds of low intelligence, it encourages the continued practice of vicious indulgences that otherwise might be more easily outgrown. This is particularly the case where these excesses have been woven into the myths of the gods and the legends of deified heroes, or have been incorporated into the religious rites and become, as it were, inviolable. This explains how, for example, among peoples so highly civilized as the Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans, certain lascivious rites could hold their own in the sacred liturgy, and also how, in the worship of the Aztec god of war, human sacrifices with cannibal feasts could prevail to so shocking a degree. In this respect the religious systems of lower grades of culture have tended to retard reform and progress towards higher standards of conduct. It has been the glory of the religion of Christ that, starting with the highest ethical principles, it has pointed out to men the true path to moral and spiritual perfection, and given the most powerful aids to the successful pursuit of this lofty ideal.

(2) Manifestations of Divine Good Will

Religion is something more than the attempt of man to secure communion with God. It is also an experience sometimes real and sometimes fancied, of the supernatural. Corresponding to the deeply felt need of Divine help is the conviction that in numerous instances this help has been given in answer to prayer. Sensible tokens of Divine good will are piously thought to reward the earnest efforts of man to secure bliss bringing communion with the Deity. Prominent among these are alleged instances of Divine communications to man, revelation.

(a) Revelation. Revelation (or God speaking to man ) is the complement of prayer (man speaking to God ). It is instinctively felt to be needed for the perfection of religion, which is a personal relation of love and friendship. There is scarcely a religion which has not its accepted instances of Divine visions and communications. To the Theist this offers a strong presumptive argument in favour of Divine revelation , for God would hardly leave this legitimate craving of the human heart unsatisfied. It has, indeed, been fully met in the religion of Christ, in which man has been Divinely enlightened in regard to his religious duties, and has been given the supernatural power to fulfil them and thereby secure his perfection. In lower religions, where temporal welfare is chiefly kept in view, on the eve of every important undertaking Divine assurance of success is eagerly sought through ritual forms of divination and through the use of prophecy. The office of prophet, the recognized spokesman of the Deity, is generally but not always distinct from that of priest. It had its legitimate place in the Old Law, in which the Divinely chosen Prophets not only told of things to come, but also brought to their contemporaries God's messages of warning and of moral and spiritual awakening. In Christ the office of prophet was perfected and completed for all time. In lower religions the office of prophet is almost invariably characterized by extraordinary mental excitement, taken by the worshippers as the sign of the inspiring presence of the Deity. In this state of religious frenzy, brought on as a rule by narcotics, dances, and noisy music, the prophet utters oracles. Sometimes the prophecy is made after emerging from a trance, in which the prophet is thought to be favoured with Divine visions and communications. In their ignorance, the worshippers mistake these pathological states for the signs of indwelling Deity. Their counterparts may be seen today in the wild scenes of excitement so common in the religious revivals of certain sects, where the believers, under the influence of noisy, soul-stirring exhortations, become seized with religious frenzy, dance, shout, fall into cataleptic fits, and think they see visions and hear Divine assurances of being saved. Quite different from these violent mental disturbances are the peaceful, but no less extraordinary ecstasies of many saints, in which wonderful visions and Divine colloquies are experienced, while the body lies motionless and insensible.

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Râle, Sebastian

Sebastian Rale (Rasle)

Missionary, martyr, b. at Pontarlier, Diocese of Besançoison, 20 Jan., 1654 (?); shot by ...
Räss, Andreas

Andreas Rass

Bishop of Strasburg, b. at Sigolsheim in upper Alsace, 6 April, 1794; d. at Strasburg, 17 ...
Régis, Jean-Baptiste

Jean-Baptiste Regis

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

Pierre Sylvain Regis

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

Blessed Maurus Magnentius Rabanus

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

Rabbi and Rabbinism

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

Rabbulas

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

Francois Rabelais

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

Raccolta

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

Human Race

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

Negro Race

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

Rachel

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

Jean Racine

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

Matthew Rader

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

Florens Radewyns

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

Joseph Maria von Radowitz

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

Radulph of Rivo

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

Pierre Raffeix

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

Paul Ragueneau

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

Ragusa

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

Johann Michael Raich

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

Altar Rail

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

Marcantonio Raimondi

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

Rainald of Dassel

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

Rajpootana

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

Ven. Ralph Crockett

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

Venerable Ralph Milner

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

Bl. Ralph Sherwin

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

Pierre Francois Xavier de Ram

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

Ramatha

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

The Rambler

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

Jean-Philippe Rameau

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

Ramsey Abbey

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

Peter Ramus

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

Jean-Armand Le Bouthillier de Rance

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

James Ryder Randall

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

Feast of Our Lady of Ransom

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

Raphael (1483-1520)

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

St. Raphael the Archangel

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

Raphoe

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

Rene Rapin

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

Raskolniks

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

Joseph Rathborne

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

Ratherius of Verona

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

Ratio Studiorum

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

Rationale

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

Rationalism

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

Ratisbon

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

Maria Alphonse Ratisbonne

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

Maria Theodor Ratisbonne

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

Ratramnus

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

Ratzeburg

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

Georg Ratzinger

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

Joseph Othmar Rauscher

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

Antonio Ravalli

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

Ravenna

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

Josse Ravesteyn

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

Gustave Xavier Lacroix de Ravignan

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

Henry Augustus Rawes

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

Charles Raymbault

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

Raymond IV

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

Raymond Lully

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

Raymond Martini

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

St. Raymond Nonnatus

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

St. Raymond of Penafort

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

Raymond of Sabunde

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

Raymond VI

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

Raymond VII

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

Odorico Raynaldi

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

Theophile Raynaud

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

Francois-Juste-Marie Raynouard

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

Reading Abbey

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

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

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

Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism

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

Reason

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

Age of Reason

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

Recanati and Loreto

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

Rechab and the Rechabites

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

Recollection

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

The Sacrament of Penance

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

Rector

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

Rector Potens, Verax Deus

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

English Recusants

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

Red Sea

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

Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer

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

Knights of the Redeemer

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

Redemption

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

Redemption in the Old Testament

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

Penitential Redemptions

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

Redemptoristines

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

Redemptorists

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

Sebastian Redford

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

Francesco Redi

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

Augustine Reding

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

Reductions of Paraguay

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

Referendarii

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

Reform of a Religious Order

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

The Reformation

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

Reformed Churches

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

Cities of Refuge

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

Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge

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

Droit de Regale

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

Regalia

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

Regeneration

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

Ratisbon

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

Papal Regesta

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

Reggio Dell' Emilia

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

Reggio di Calabria

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

Regina

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

Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven)

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

Reginald of Piperno

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

Regino of Prum

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

Regionarii

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

St. John Francis Regis

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

Parochial Registers

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

Henri Victor Regnault

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

Regulae Juris

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

Regulars

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

Reichenau

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

August Reichensberger

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

Peter Reichensberger

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

Reifenstein

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

Johann Georg Reiffenstuel

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

Reims

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

Synods of Reims

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

Reinmar of Hagenau

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

Carl von Reisach

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

Gregor Reisch

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

Relationship

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

Duties of Relatives

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

Relativism

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

Relics

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

Religion

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

Virtue of Religion

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

Statistics of Religions

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

Religious Life

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

Religious Profession

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

Reliquaries

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

Remesiana

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

Remigius of Auxerre

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

Saint Remigius

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

Remiremont

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

Anne-Madeleine Remuzat

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

Abbey of Saint Remy

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

The Renaissance

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

Eusebius Renaudot

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

Theophraste Renaudot

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

Guido Reni

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

Rennes

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

Gaston Jean Baptiste de Renty

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

Renunciation

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

Reordinations

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

Reparation

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

Philip Repington

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

Altar of Repose

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

Reputation (As Property)

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

Requiem Masses

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

Rerum Creator Optime

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

Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor

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

Rerum Novarum

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

Papal Rescripts

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

Reservation

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

Reserved Cases

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

Ecclesiastical Residence

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

Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha

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

Lorenzo Respighi

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

Responsorium

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

Restitution

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

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

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

General Resurrection

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

Alfred Rethel

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

Retreat of the Sacred Heart

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

Retreats

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

Cardinal de Retz

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

Ruben (Reuben)

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

Johannes Reuchlin

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

Alfred von Reumont

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

Edmond Reusens

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

Reuss

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

Revelation

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

Apocalypse

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

Private Revelations

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

Revocation

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

English Revolution of 1688

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

French Revolution

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

Rex Gloriose Martyrum

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

Rex Sempiterne Caelitum

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

Anthony Rey

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

William Reynolds

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

Rhaetia

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

Rhaphanaea

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

Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger

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

Rhenish Palatinate

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

Rhesaena

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

Rhinocolura

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

Rhithymna

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

Rhizus

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

Giacomo Rho

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

Rhode Island

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

Rhodes

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

Alexandre de Rhodes

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

Rhodesia

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

Rhodiopolis

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

Rhodo

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

Rhosus

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

Rhymed Bibles

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

Rhythmical Office

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

Pedro de Ribadeneira

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

Andres Perez de Ribas

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

Ancient See of Ribe in Denmark (Jutland)

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

Preto Ribeirao

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

Jusepe de Ribera

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

Ricardus Anglicus

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

Nicholas Riccardi

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

Lorenzo Ricci

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

Matteo Ricci

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

Giovanni Battista Riccioli

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

Edmund Ignatius Rice

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

St. Edmund Rich

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

Richard (Franciscan Preacher)

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

Richard de Bury

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

Francois-Marie-Benjamin Richard de la Vergne

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

St. Richard de Wyche

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

Bl. Richard Fetherston

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

Richard I, King of England

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

Richard of Cirencester

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

Richard of Cornwall

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

Richard of Middletown

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

Richard of St. Victor

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

Blessed Richard Thirkeld

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

Blessed Richard Whiting

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

Charles-Louis Richard

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

Ven. William Richardson

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

Cardinal Richelieu

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

Richmond

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

Ricoldo Da Monte di Croce

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

Riemenschneider

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

Cola di Rienzi

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

Rieti

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

Abbey of Rievaulx

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

Caspar Riffel

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

St. John Rigby

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

Nicholas Rigby

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

Right

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

Right of Exclusion

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

Right of Option

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

Right of Voluntary Association

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

St. Rimbert

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

Rimini

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

Council of Rimini

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

Rimouski

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

The Ring of Fisherman

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

Rings

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

Giovanni Battista Rinuccini

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

Rio Negro

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

Alexis-Francois Rio

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

Riobamba

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

Francisco de Rioja

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

Juan Martinez de Ripalda

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

Ripatransone

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

Marquess of Ripon

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

Richard Risby

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

William Rishanger

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

Edward Rishton

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

St. Rita of Cascia

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

Rites

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

Rites in the United States

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

Ritschlianism

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

Joseph Ignatius Ritter

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

Ritual

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

Ritualists

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

Luke Rivington

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

Jose Mercado Rizal

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

Seven Robbers

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

Andrea Della Robbia

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

Lucia di Simone Robbia

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

St. Robert Bellarmine

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

Bl. Robert Johnson

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

Robert of Arbrissel

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

Robert of Courcon

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

Robert of Geneva

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

Robert of Jumieges

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

Robert of Luzarches

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

Robert of Melun

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

St. Robert of Molesme

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

St. Robert of Newminster

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

Robert Pullus

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

St. Robert

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

St. John Roberts

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

James Burton Robertson

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

Ven. Christopher Robinson

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

William Callyhan Robinson

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

Juan Tomas de Rocaberti

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

Rocamadour

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

Angelo Rocca

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

St. Roch

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

Rochambeau

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

Alanus de Rupe (Alanus de la Roche)

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

Rochester

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

Bl. John Rochester

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

Rochester

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

Rochet

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

Desire Raoul Rochette

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

Daniel Rock

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

Rockford

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

Rockhampton

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

Rococo Style

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

Rodez

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

Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira

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

Alonso Rodriguez

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

Joao Rodriguez

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

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

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

Bartholomew Roe

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

Roermond

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

Rogation Days

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

Roger Bacon

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

Ven. Roger Cadwallador

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

Roger of Wendover

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

Roger, Bishop of Worcester

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

Peter Roh

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

Rohault de Fleury

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

Rene Francois Rohrbacher

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

Francisco de Rojas y Zorrilla

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

John Gage Rokewode

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

Rolduc

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

Hermann Rolfus

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

Richard Rolle de Hampole

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

Charles Rollin

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

Rolls Series

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

Thomas Rolph

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

Roman Catacombs

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

Roman Catechism

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

Roman Catholic

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

Roman Catholic Relief Bill

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

Early Roman Christian Cemeteries

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

Roman Colleges

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

The Roman Congregations

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

Roman Curia

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

Roman Processional

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

The Roman Rite

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

Consitutio Romanos Pontifices

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

St. Romanos

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

Epistle To the Romans

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

Pope Romanus

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

Saints Romanus

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

Rome

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

University of Rome

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

Juan Romero

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

St. Romuald

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

Romulus Augustulus

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

St. Ronan

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

Pierre de Ronsard

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

Rood

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

Johann Philipp Roothaan

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

William Roper

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

Rorate Coeli

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

Salvatore Rosa

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

St. Rosalia

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

Breviary Hymns of the Rosary

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

Confraternity of the Holy Rosary

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

Feast of the Holy Rosary

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

Franciscan Crown

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

The Rosary

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

Alberico de Rosate

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

Roscelin

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

Roscommon

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

St. Rose of Lima

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

St. Rose of Viterbo

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

Rose Window

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

Rosea

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

Roseau

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

William Starke Rosecrans

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

St. Roseline

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

Rosenau

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

Feast of Trumpets

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

Rosicrucians

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

Ancient See of Roskilde in Denmark

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

August Roskovanyi

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

Rosmini and Rosminianism

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

Rosminians

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

Ross

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

School of Ross

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

Rossano

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

Antonio di Matteo di Domenico Rosselino

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

Bernardo Rosselino

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

Cosimo Rosselli

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

Bernardo de Rossi

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

Giovanni Battista de Rossi

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

Pellegrino Rossi

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

Gioacchino Antonio Rossini

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

Sebastian von Rostock

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

University of Rostock

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

Hroswitha

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

Sacra Romana Rota

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

Heinrich Roth

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

David Rothe

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

Rottenburg

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

Rotuli

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

Rouen

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

Synods of Rouen

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

Adrien Rouquette

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

Jean-Baptiste Rousseau

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

Benedetto Da Rovezzano

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

Stephen Rowsham

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

The Royal Declaration

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

Pierre-Paul Royer-Collard

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

St. Ruadhan

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

Ruben (Reuben)

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

Peter Paul Rubens

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

Rubrics

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

William Rubruck

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

Rudolf of Fulda

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

Rudolf of Habsburg

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

Rudolf of Rudesheim

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

Rudolf von Ems

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

Family of Rueckers

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

Paolo Ruffini

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

Rufford Abbey

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

Sts. Rufina

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

Saints Rufinus

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

Saints Rufus

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

Juan de Ruiz de Alarcon y Mendoza

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

Antonio Ruiz de Montoya

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

Diego Ruiz de Montoya

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

The Rule of Faith

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

Rule of St. Augustine

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

Rule of St. Benedict

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

Rumania

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

Karl Friedrich Rumohr

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

Alanus de Rupe (Alanus de la Roche)

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

St. Rupert

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

Rusaddir

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

Rusicade

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

Ruspe

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

Charles Russell

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

Charles William Russell

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

Richard Russell

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

Russia

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

The Religion of Russia

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

Russian Language and Literature

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

St. Rusticus of Narbonne

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

Book of Ruth

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

Ruthenian Rite

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

Ruthenians

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

Henry Rutter

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

Ruvo and Bitonto

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

Blessed John Ruysbroeck

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

John Ruysch

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

Father Abram J. Ryan

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

Patrick John Ryan

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

Henry Ignatius Dudley Ryder

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

Theodore James Ryken

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

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