- A title of the Holy Spirit.
Christ was and remains the first advocate. When he was to leave
earth in visible form, he promised "another Paraclete" so that his
followers would not be orphans. That Paraclete came on Pentecost. He
is the advocate of the Mystical Body, pleading God's cause for the
human family, keeping the Church from error, sanctifying souls
through the preaching of God's word and through the sacraments. The
Holy Spirit, whose function is to teach, bear witness, and "to
convince the world of sin," is the love of God producing the effects
of divine grace on earth, and appropriated to the third Person of
- The second coming of Christ to
the earth (I Corinthians 15:23). References to it are frequent in
the New Testament, as the writers describe the ultimate triumph of
Jesus and the establishment of his kingdom (I Thessalonians 4:15-17;
Matthew 24:3-14; 11 Peter 1:16).
- The individual judgment by Christ
of each human being a moment after death (Hebrews 9:27).
- A form of the moral virtue of
fortitude. It enables one to endure present evils without sadness or
resentment in conformity with the will of God. Patience is mainly
concerned with bearing the evils caused by another. The three grades
of patience are: to bear difficulties without interior complaint, to
use hardships to make progress in virtue, and even to desire the
cross and afflictions out of love for God and accept them with
Saint - One
who has been chosen by election, or assigned by a venerable
tradition, as a special intercessor with God and the proper advocate
of a particular locality, and is honored by clergy and people with a
particular form of religious observation.
Paul, saint - The apostle to the Gentiles, one of the greatest of Christian missionaries, he was born in Tarsus in Cilicia of a Jewish family. His father was a Roman citizen, and Paul was a tentmaker by trade. His Jewish name was Saul, and he was probably educated at Tarsus in Jerusalem where he studied under Gamaliel, doctor of the Law. His family was greatly attached to Pharisaic traditions and observances, and Paul became a zealous nationalistic Jew. The sources for St. Paul’s life are the Acts of the Apostles, of which he is the dominating figure, and the Pauline Epistles.
The first recorded act in which St. Paul is mentioned occurred after the first Pentecost and was the riot incident to the martyrdom of St. Stephen. At this event Saul of Tarsus assisted and applauded. Shortly thereafter, he received a commission from the chief priest to go to Damascus to undertake the suppression of Christianity there (A.D. 35). It was on this trip that his life changed completely, for Christ appeared to him and asked, “why are you persecuting me?” As a result, Paul was temporarily blinded and was led into the city where he recovered his sight and was baptized by Ananias. He then retired to the desert for three years to meditate and rebuild his objectives. The details of his first few years as a Christian are not certain, but he set out on his first missionary journey from Jerusalem (A.D. 45-49) accompanied by St. Barnabus and for a time by St. Mark. In general, his method was to set up little Christian groups, and as soon as they seemed strong enough, churches were established. St. Paul and his companions would then move to another city. On the firs trip they went to Cyprus, then across the strait to Pamphyllia. From Perga they moved north to Antioch of Pisidia; next Iconium and Lystra to Derbe. This was followed by a trip back over their course to the Pamphylian coast and a sailing from Attalia to Antioch. On the second missionary journey (50-53 A.D.) he was accompanied by St. Silas, and they traveled north by land from Jerusalem to Galatia via Lystra. Then they went west across Asia Minor to the Aegean at Troas. Next, two churches were founded at Philippi and Thessalonica, and then a stop was made at Beroea in Thessaly before sailing to Athens where Paul made his memorable address in the market (Acts 17:15). From Athens he went to Corinth where he wrote many of his greatest works. After a long stay, he sailed to Caesarea of Palestine and visited Jerusalem again, and finally spent some time in Antioch.
St. Paul’s third missionary journey
took him to Galatia, the Phrygia, and over to Ephesus, where he
wrote the letters to the Corinthians. He then went to Corinth by way
of Macedonia to help the Christians there; then back to Ephesus, and
thence to Jerusalem. This was his last visit to the Holy City
because shortly thereafter he was arrested for provoking a riot.
After being held prisoner for two years and after making numerous
appeals, he was sent to Rome under guard. On the way, they were
shipwrecked at Malta, but finally landed at Puteoli (Pozzuoli). Upon
arriving in Rome, he was imprisoned (60-62), but apparently he was
finally acquitted of all charges. Historically, the next three years
are blank, but he went east again and perhaps to Spain and wrote the
rest of his epistles. According to tradition, he was killed in
persecution under Nero, and he and St. Peter suffered on the same
day. St. Paul has always been said to have been beheaded at Tre
Fontane (Aque Salivae), two miles south of the city near the Ostian
Way. His tomb and shrine are at the Roman basilica of St.
Paul’s-outside-the-Walls. The Feast of St. Peter and of St. Paul,
June 29, is one of the highly venerated days of the Church’s
calendar. St. Paul was a man of tremendous energy and determination,
a scholar of unsurpassed accomplishments, a missionary of unequaled
zeal and power, and a noble sufferer for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Thus, next to Our Lord Himself, St. Paul is regarded as the greatest
character of the New Testament history.
- Feast commemorating the descent
of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. It takes its name from the fact
that it comes about fifty days after Easter. The name was originally
given to the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which fell on the fiftieth day
after Passover, when the first fruits of the corn harvest were
offered to the Lord (Deuteronomy 16:9), and later on the giving of
the law to Moses was celebrated. In the early Church, Pentecost
meant the whole period from Easter to Pentecost Sunday, during which
no fasting was allowed, prayer was only made standing, and Alleluia
was sung more often.
- The complete possession of the
perfect good. That which fully satisfies all human desires.
Imperfect happiness falls short of the perfect in some way by not
satisfying all human desires or, if all of them, not all of them
fully. Natural happiness, when perfect, is called natural beatitude.
It satisfies those cravings which spring from human nature alone. It
is the kind of happiness that human beings would have been destined
to, had they been left on a purely natural plane. Mere reason cannot
pass beyond this point. Christian revelation adds to this the
prospect of supernatural happiness. When perfect, in the life to
come, it consists of the Beatific Vision, which supposes a free gift
of God lifting humanity above its natural capacity and enabling it
to share in the very happiness of God.
- The effort by civil authority to
suppress or impede the Church's liberty by physical or psychological
means. Since the first days after Pentecost the Church has been
persecuted by those who felt threatened by her or who sought to
enforce religious conformity or who penalized dissent from the
accepted or established norms of belief and behavior. Throughout the
Gospels, Christ foretold that his followers would be persecuted, and
at the Last Supper he predicted, "If they persecuted me, they will
persecute you too" (John 15:20). This prediction has been verified
in every period of the Church's history, including modern times.
First Letter of
first of two New Testament letters attributed to the authorship of
St. Peter. Dating from around A.D. 66, this letter was written from
Rome and sent to various Eastern churches by Silas (Silvanus, 5:12),
a frequent companion of St. Paul. The letter is a masterpiece of
general spiritual direction. No class of Christians is left without
some wise and gentle advice. The pagan slur against Christians as
enemies of the state is rejected, and Christians are encouraged to
be good citizens.
Saint - The first Pope and
leader of the Apostles. His original name was Simon, but Jesus gave
him the name "Peter," which is Greek, or "Cephas," which is the
Aramaic equivalent. "Peter" and "Cephas" mean "the rock" (John
1:42). Such a name was appropriate to the strong character of the
man, but the name became a supremely significant metaphor when
Christ later made the dramatic assignment. "You are Peter and on
this rock I will build my Church" (Matthew 16:18). What made the
name distinctive as well was that neither "Peter" nor "Cephas" was
ever used as a man's name. It was a career designation. There could
be no question about the recognition of Peter's leadership. His name
always appeared first in the listing of the Apostles (Mark 3:16). He
and his brother were the first chosen. His name appears in the
Gospels oftener than that of any other Apostle (Luke 5:10). He acted
as their spokesman and whenever Jesus questioned them Peter
responded in their behalf. He was present at the Transfiguration
(Matthew 17:1-8). He was with Jesus when he raised Jairus' daughter
(Luke 8:51). He was in Gethsemane during the Lord's agony (Mark
14:33). Jesus paid the temple tax for himself and Peter (Matthew
17:24-27). When Jesus disappeared from Capernaum, it was Peter who
led the disciples in pursuit (Mark 1:36). It was Peter who objected
to the washing of the feet (John 13:6-9). The angel in announcing
the Resurrection said, "Go and tell the disciples and Peter" (Mark
16:7). Other instances from all four Gospels could be cited that
make it clear that Peter's leadership was uncontested. After the
Crucifixion it was Peter who directed the meeting to select a
successor to Judas (Acts 1:15-26). When Paul and Barnabas attended
the first council in Jerusalem, Peter presided and made the speech
that silenced discussion (Acts 15:6-12). Through the early chapters
of Acts he continues to exercise the leadership role. He was truly
obeying the Master's valedictory injunction to "feed my lambs" and
feed my sheep" (John 21:16-17). Peter revealed human shortcomings as
well as strengths. He was rebuked by Jesus for misinterpreting the
Messianic mission (Mark 8:33). His impetuosity was revealed in the
garden when he attacked Malchus (John 18:10). He was bitterly
ashamed of the cowardice he revealed in denying Jesus in the
courtyard (Luke 22:54-62). But none of these human actions reduce
the significance of the assignment he received when Jesus said, "I
will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 16:19).
Second Letter of
style of 2 Peter leads most scholars to doubt that St. Peter was the
direct author of the second of two New Testament letters attributed
to him. Since the letter appears to have been written at the very
end of St. Peter’s life (3:13-14), it may represent the record, made
by a trusted friend, of his final instructions to the flock
entrusted to his care.
- An active, vociferous religious
Jewish sect in the centuries before and after Christ appeared on
earth. They represented by and large the intellectual sector of
their people, because they were avid, contentious students and
teachers of Jewish religious law. Their intensity and
single-mindedness resulted in a harsh and uncharitable emphasis on
the legal aspects of religion at the expense of charity and loving
concern. Jesus represented a threat to their intellectual security
and leadership. They baited him at every opportunity. They tried to
trap him into wrong answers (Matthew 22:15-22). They proposed
questions, hoping to prove contradictions (Matthew 22:34-40). They
deplored the company he kept. They objected to his Sabbath
activities (Mark 2:15-17; Mark 2:23-26). They even plotted against
his life (John 11:45-54). Indeed they worked together with the
priests and the Sadducees until their plotting culminated in his
arrest and crucifixion (John 18:3). Their hostility, of course, was
aggravated by the accusations that Jesus leveled at the Pharisees.
He called themhypocrites (Matthew 15:7). He deplored their legalisms
as rendering God's word null and void (Mark 7:13). Their
self-righteous-ness he exposed in the parable of the Pharisee and
the publican (Luke 18:9-14). The entire Chapter 23 of Matthew is a
lengthy, detailed indictment of Pharisee mentality. Needless to say,
all Pharisees were not fanatics. Gamaliel and Nicodemus were men who
kept a sense of balance and were open to the development of Judaism
(John 3:1-21; Acts 5:34-39). It is likely that many Pharisees became
A prominent Christian of Colassae to whom Paul addressed a brief
letter recommending conciliation for his run-away servant Onesimus
who had been converted under Paul’s teachings in Rome.
Letter to the
St. Paul’s letter to Philemon, occasioned by Paul’s befriending and
returning Philemon’s slave, Onesimus. The letter is a masterpiece of
persuasion. Paul seeks to transform the master-slave relationship
from within, citing the deeper reality of being one body in Christ.
- The ‘Apostle,’ a native of Bethsaida-Julias and one
of the first to follow Christ. He also urged Nathaniel or Bartholmew
to become a disciple. John’s Gospel makes several references to
Philip, all of them suggesting that he was timid in disposition,
slow of heart and understanding, but a disciple of unswerving
loyalty and practical action. His feast is celebrated May 1.
Philip, The Evangelist-
He was a leader in the
Church at Jerusalem and when it was found necessary that a division
of labors be arranged by which the Apostles might be relived of
certain business interest of the church, he met all the rigid
requirements to be chosen among seven deacons appointed to this
service. He was especially sympathetic toward the needs of the
widows of Hellenists Jewish converts. He is distinguished from the
Apostle Philip by the title “the Evangelist” – a title used to
describe those missionaries who neither Apostles nor prophets.
Philip took an active part in the extension of the gospel among the
Gentiles. In the conversion of the chamberlain of Candace, Queen
Ethiopia, he was responsible for introducing Christianity into the
heathens country. After preaching from city to city, he settled at
Caesarea with his four virgin daughters who were recognized
Letter to the. - A
warm letter addressed by St. Paul to the Church were began his
missionary journey to Europe. In this letter, Paul’s message
stressed the urgency of doing God’s will because the “Lord is at
hand” (4:5). Paul looks forward with expectation to his ‘heavenly
home” (3:20). Christ is the servant whom God vindicated over all
things (2:5-11, 3:21). Having the mind of Christ (2:5) is of utmost
importance for dealing with the problems facing the community within
Pontius - rocurator
of Judea A.D. 26-36. It was through the influences of Sejanus, a
bitter enemy of the Jews, that Pilate was appointed procurator by
Tiberius; his wife, Procula, accompanied him. Herod Agrippa I
described Pilate as merciless and obstinate, and accused him of
corruption and ill treatment of the people. Pilate was in office
when John the Baptist and Jesus began to preach, and when Jesus was
condemned to death, the Sanhedrin delivered Him to Pilate. Pilate
absolved Our Lord of any crime, but in order to please the Jewish
people Pilate gave orders for Jesus to be scourged and crucified.
After many blunders, Pilate was ordered back to Rome on charges of
cruelty and oppression before Tiberius, but before he reached his
destination, the emperor was dead. Little is known of the final
period of Pilate’s life, but some historians relate that he
- Title of the visible head of the
Catholic Church. He is called Pope (Greek pappas, a child's
word for father) because his authority is supreme and because it is
to be exercised in a paternal way, after the example of Christ.
- The voluntary response to the
awareness of God's presence. This response may be an acknowledgment
of God's greatness and of a person's total dependence on him
(adoration), or gratitude for his benefits to oneself and others
(thanksgiving), or sorrow for sins committed and begging for mercy
(expiation), or asking for graces needed (petition), or affection
for God, who is all good (love).
Pride - An inordinate esteem of oneself. It is inordinate because it is contrary to the truth. It is essentially an act or disposition of the will desiring to be considered better than a person really is. Pride may be expressed in different ways: by taking personal credit for gifts or possessions, as if they had not been received from God; by glorying in achievements, as if they were not primarily the result of divine goodness and grace; by minimizing one's defects or claiming qualities that are not actually possessed; by holding oneself superior to others or disdaining them because they lack what the proud person has; by magnifying the defects of others or dwelling on them. When pride is carried to the extent that a person is unwilling to acknowledge dependence on God and refuses to submit his or her will to God or lawful authority, it is a grave sin. The gravity arises from the fact that a person shows contempt for God or of those who take his place. Otherwise, pride is said to be imperfect and venially wrong.
While not all sins are
pride, it can lead to all sorts of sins, notably presumption,
ambition, vainglory, boasting, hypocrisy, strife, and disobedience.
Pride strives for perverse excellence. It despises others and,
depending on its perversity, even looks down upon God. The remedies
for pride are a sincere knowledge of oneself, the acceptance of
daily humiliations, avoidance of even the least self-complacency,
humble acknowledgment of one's faults, and prayerful communion with
Priest, Priesthood - A priest is one who is duly authorized to minster in sacred things, particularly to offer sacrifices at the altar, and who acts as a mediator between God and man.
Old Testament Priesthood:
result of man’s alienation from God through sin requirement for
meditation became universal, and sacrifice were made by Adam and his
son and by their descendants down through the annals
- The selfless love of husband with
wife for the potential offspring God may wish to give them as the
"procreation" of marital intercourse. This love is procreative
because it evokes the creative act of God, who requires their
cooperation to bring a new human being into the world.
- The biblical term "nabi"
means one who spoke, acted, or wrote under the extraordinary
influence of God to make known the divine counsels and will. Yet
commonly associated with this primary function to proclaim the word
of God, a prophet also prophesied by foretelling future events. His
role, then, was to both proclaim and to make the proclamation
- The system of faith, worship, and
practice derived from the principles of the Reformation in the
sixteenth century. As a name, it comes from the Protestatio
of the Reformers at the Diet of Speyer (1529) against the decisions
of the Catholic majority that no further religious innovations were
to be introduced. Although now divided into hundreds of
denominations, the original families of Protestantism were only
five: the Lutheran, Calvinist, and Zwinglian on the Continent, and
the Anglican and Free Church or Congregational in Great Britain.
Three premises of Protestantism have remained fairly constant,
namely, the Bible as the only rule of faith, excluding tradition and
Church authority; justification by faith alone, excluding
supernatural merit and good works; and the universal priesthood of
believers, excluding a distinct episcopacy or priesthood divinely
empowered through ordination to teach, govern, and sanctify the
people of God.
- The modern title of the
apocryphal Gospel of the Infancy. Also known as the Book of James
(the Less). Most likely of Docetist origin, it testifies to the
early devotion to Mary, dating from the second century. It is the
oldest known apocryphal gospel. Protoevangelium (First Gospel) is
also applied to the promise of a Redeemer after the Fall. Speaking
to the serpent, God said, "I will make you enemies of each other;
you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush
your head and you will strike its heel" (Genesis 3:15).
Traditionally the woman and her offspring have been understood to
mean Mary and her Son.
The book of –
The Old Testament book attributed by Tradition to the authorship of
David and containing one hundred and fifty religious songs and
poems. Many of the Psalms are hymns of praise and thanksgiving.
Others are songs of petition or repentance, while still others are
expressions of messianic expectations. The Psalms are perhaps one
of the most important constituents of Christian worship. They make
up the bulk of the Liturgy of the Hours, distributed over a
four-week cycle. They are also figure prominently at the
celebration of the Eucharist and other sacraments. In addition,
they are particularly appropriate for private prayer and meditation.
- Freedom from anything that
weakens or impairs or changes the nature of a being or its activity.
Purity of faith means the absence of error or what is contrary to
the revealed truth; purity of intention is the exclusion of
self-will in the desire to perform the will of God; purity of
conscience is the absence of any sense of guilt in the performance
of a moral action; purity of morals commonly refers to the virtue of
chastity and therefore freedom from wrongdoing in sexual activity,
but on a broader level it means the absence of misbehavior,
especially in one's external or publicly recognizable conduct.