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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > D > Deo Gratias

Deo Gratias

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("Thanks be to God"). An old liturgical formula of the Latin Church to give thanks to God for graces received. It is found in Scripture, 1 Corinthians 15:57 and 2 Corinthians 2:14.

In liturgy

Deo Gratias occurs in the Mass

Outside of liturgy

The formula Deo Gratias was used in extra-liturgical prayers and customs by the Christians of all ages. The rule of St. Benedict prescribes that the doorkeeper shall say Deo Gratias, as often as a stranger knocks at the door or a beggar asks for assistance. When St. Augustine announce to the people the election of his coadjutor and successor Evodius, they called out Deo Gratias thirty-six times (St. Augustine, Ep. ccxiii al. cx, De Actis Eraclii). In Africa it was the salutation used by the Catholics to distinguish themselves from the Donatists who said: Deo laudes (St. Augustine, In Ps. cxxxi). Therefore in Africa Deo Gratias occurs as a Catholic name, e.g. St. Deogratias, Bishop of Carthage (453-456). The name of the deacon for whom St. Augustine wrote his treatise "De catechizandis rudibus", was Deogratias. St. Felix of Cantalizio (1515-87) used this interjection so often, that the people called him Brother Deogratias.


About this page

APA citation. Holweck, F. (1908). Deo Gratias. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04737a.htm

MLA citation. Holweck, Frederick. "Deo Gratias." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04737a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Christine J. Murray.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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