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L

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La Salette - Located in the commune and parish of La Salette-Fallavaux, Canton of Corps, Department of Isere, and Diocese of Grenoble
La Salle, John Baptist de, Saint - Essay on the founder of the Christian Brothers
La Salle, René-Robert-Cavelier, Sieur de - Explorer, born at Rouen, 1643; died in Texas, 1687
Labarum (Chi-Rho) - The name by which the military standard adopted by Constantine the Great after his celebrated vision (Lactantius, 'De mortibus persecutorum', 44), was known in antiquity
Labyrinth - A complicated arrangement of paths and passages; or a place, usually subterraneous, full of windings, corridors, rooms, etc., so intricately arranged as to render the getting out of it a very difficult matter
Lace - The two earliest known specimens of lace-worked linen albs are that of St. Francis, preserved at St. Clare's convent, Assisi, and the alb of Pope Boniface VIII, now in the treasury of the Sistine Chapel
Lacordaire, Jean-Baptiste-Henri-Dominique - Dominican orator (1802-1861)
Lactantius, Lucius Cæcilius Firmianus - Fourth-century Christian apologist
Laennec, René-Théophile-Hyacinthe - Born at Quimper, in Brittany, France, 17 February, 1781; died at Kerlouanec, 13 August, 1826, a French physician, discoverer of auscultation, and father of modern knowledge of pulmonary diseases
Laetare Sunday - The fourth, or middle, Sunday of Lent, so called from the first words of the Introit at Mass
Lahore - Diocese in northern India, part of the ecclesiastical Province of Agra
Laicization - The term laity signifies the aggregation of those Christians who do not form part of the clergy. Consequently the word lay does not strictly connote any idea of hostility towards the clergy or the Church much less towards religion. Laicization, therefore, considered etymologically, simply means the reducing of persons or things having an ecclesiastical character to a lay condition
Laity - The body of the faithful, outside of the ranks of the clergy
Lamb, Paschal - A lamb which the Israelites were commanded to eat with peculiar rites as a part of the Passover celebration
Lamb (in Early Christian Symbolism) - One of the few Christian symbols dating from the first century is that of the Good Shepherd carrying on His shoulders a lamb or a sheep, with two other sheep at his side
Lamp, Altar - In the Old Testament God commanded that a lamp filled with the purest oil of olives should always burn in the Tabernacle of the Testimony without the veil
Lance, The Holy - In the Gospel of St. John (xix, 34), that, after our Saviour's death, 'one of the soldiers with a spear [lancea] opened his side and immediately there came out blood and water'
Lando, Pope - Reigned 913-914
Lantern - In Italian or modern architecture, a small structure on the top of a dome, for the purpose of admitting light, for promoting ventilation, and for ornament
Laodicea - A titular see, of Asia Minor, metropolis of Phrygia Pacatiana, said to have been originally called Diospolis and Rhoas; Antiochus II colonized it between 261 and 246 B.C., and gave it the name of his wife, Laodice
Laplace, Pierre-Simon - Mathematician and astronomer (1749-1827)
Lapsi - The regular designation in the third century for Christians who relapsed into heathenism, especially for those who during the persecutions displayed weakness in the face of torture, and denied the Faith by sacrificing to the heathen gods or by any other acts
Last Judgment, The - To it the prophets of the Old Testament refer when they speak of the 'Day of the Lord' (Joel 2:31; Ezekiel 13:5; Isaiah 2:12), in which the nations will be summoned to judgment. In the New Testament the second Parusia, or coming of Christ as Judge of the world, is an oft-repeated doctrine
Last Supper, The - The Evangelists and critics generally agree that the Last Supper was on a Thursday, that Christ suffered and died on Friday, and that He arose from the dead on Sunday
Lateran, Saint John - This is the oldest, and ranks first among the four great 'patriarchal' basilicas of Rome
Lateran Council, First - It put a stop to the arbitrary conferring of ecclesiastical benefices by laymen, reestablished freedom of episcopal and abbatial elections, separated spiritual from temporal affairs, and ratified the principle that spiritual authority can emanate only from the Church; lastly it tacitly abolished the exorbitant claim of the emperors to interfere in papal elections
Lateran Council, Second - To efface the last vestiges of the schism, to condemn various errors and reform abuses among clergy and people Innocent, in the month of April, 1139, convoked, at the Lateran, the tenth ecumenical council
Lateran Council, Third - In September, 1178, the pope in agreement with an article of the Peace of Venice, convoked an ecumenical council at the Lateran for Lent of the following year and, with that object, sent legates to different countries
Lateran Council, Fourth - From the commencement of his reign Innocent III had purposed to assemble an ecumenical council, but only towards the end of his pontificate could he realize this project, by the Bull of 19 April, 1213. The assembly was to take place in November, 1215
Lateran Council, Fifth - Convoked, by the Bull of 18 July, 1511, to assemble 19 April, 1512, in the church of St. John Lateran
Latin, Ecclesiastical - The Latin in the official textbooks of the Church (the Bible and the Liturgy), as well as in the works of those Christian writers of the West who have undertaken to expound or defend Christian beliefs
Latin Church - The Latin Church is simply that vast portion of the Catholic body which obeys the Latin patriarch, which submits to the pope, not only in papal, but also in patriarchal matters
Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem - Founded as a result of the First Crusade, in 1099. Destroyed a first time by Saladin in 1187, it was re-established around Saint-Jean d'Acre and maintained until the capture of that city in 1291
Latin Literature in Christianity (Before the Sixth Century) - The Latin language was not at first the literary and official organ of the Christian Church in the West. The Gospel was announced by preachers whose language was Greek, and these continued to use Greek, if not in their discourses, at least in their most important acts
Latria - In classical Greek originally meant 'the state of a hired servant' (Aesch., 'Prom.', 966), and so service generally. It is used especially for Divine service (Plato, 'Apol.', 23 B). In Christian literature it came to have a technical sense for the supreme honour due to His servants, the angels and saints
Latrocinium - The Acts of the first session of this synod were read at the Council of Chalcedon, 451, and have thus been preserved. The remainder of the Acts are known only through a Syriac translation by a Monophysite monk, published from the British Museum MS. Addit. 14,530, written in the year 535
Latter-Day Saints, The Church of Jesus Christ of - Also called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This religious body had its origin during the early part of the nineteenth century. Joseph Smith, the founder and first president of the sect, was the son of a Vermont farmer, and was born in Sharon township, Windsor County, in that state, on 23 December, 1805
Lauds - Article on the canonical hour once known as Matins, then as Lauds, now as Morning Prayer. One of the two principal hours
Laurence O'Toole, Saint - Confessor, abbot, and the first Irish-born bishop of Dublin, d. 1180
Lavabo - The first word of that portion of Psalm 25 said by the celebrant at Mass while he washes his hands after the Offertory, from which word the whole ceremony is named
La Valette, Jean Parisot de - Forty-eighth Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem; b. in 1494; d. in Malta, 21 Aug., 1568
Lavoisier, Antoine-Laurent - Chemist, philosopher, economist (1743-1794)
Law - By law in the widest sense is understood that exact guide, rule, or authoritative standard by which a being is moved to action or held back from it
Law, Canon - Canon law is the body of laws and regulations made by or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members
Law, Civil (Influence of the Church on) - Christianity is essentially an ethical religion; and, although its moral principles were meant directly for the elevation of the individual, still they could not fail to exercise a powerful influence on such a public institution as law, the crystallized rule of human conduct
Law, Common - The term is of English origin and is used to describe the juridical principles and general rules regulating the possession, use and inheritance of property and the conduct of individuals, the origin of which is not definitely known, which have been observed since a remote period of antiquity, and which are based upon immemorial usages and the decisions of the law courts as distinct from the lex scripta; the latter consisting of imperial or kingly edicts or express acts of legislation
Law, Divine (Moral Aspect of) - That which is enacted by God and made known to man through revelation
Law, International - Defined to be 'the rules which determine the conduct of the general body of civilized states in their dealings with each other' (American and English Encycl. of Law)
Law, Mosaic - The body of juridical, moral, and ceremonial institutions, laws, and decisions comprised in the last four books of the Pentateuch, and ascribed by Christian and Hebrew tradition to Moses
Law, Natural - In English this term is frequently employed as equivalent to the laws of nature, meaning the order which governs the activities of the material universe. Among the Roman jurists natural law designated those instincts and emotions common to man and the lower animals, such as the instinct of self-preservation and love of offspring
Law, Roman - This subject is briefly treated under the two heads of; I. Principles; II. History
Lawrence, Saint - Deacon, martyr, d. 258
Lawrence, Saint - Successor of St. Augustine of Canterbury as archbishop of that see, and died in 619
Lawrence Justinian, Saint - Bishop and first Patriarch of Venice. He died in 1456
Lawrence of Brindisi, Saint - An Italian Capuchin with a talent for languages, much in demand as a preacher, was chaplain of the Imperial army. Doctor of the Church. He died in 1619
Lawrence O'Toole, Saint - Confessor, abbot, and the first Irish-born bishop of Dublin, d. 1180
Laws, Penal - Treats of the penal legislation affecting Catholics in English-speaking countries since the Reformation.
Lay Brothers - Religious occupied solely with manual labour and with the secular affairs of a monastery or friary
Lazarites - A congregation of secular priests with religious vows founded by St. Vincent de Paul
Lazarus - The name of two persons in the N.T.; a character in one of Christ's parables, and the brother of Martha and Mary of Bethania
Lazarus of Bethany, Saint - Reputed first Bishop of Marseilles, died in the second half of the first century
Lazarus of Jerusalem, Order of Saint - The military order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem originated in a leper hospital founded in the twelfth century by the crusaders of the Latin Kingdom
Lectern - Support for a book, reading-desk, or bookstand, a solid and permanent structure upon which the Sacred Books, which were generally large and heavy, were placed when used by the ministers of the altar in liturgical functions
Lectionary - A term of somewhat vague significance, used with a good deal of latitude by liturgical writers
Lector - A lector (reader) in the West is a clerk having the second of the four minor orders. In all Eastern Churches also, readers are ordained to a minor order preparatory to the diaconate
Lefèvre d'Etaples, Jacques - A French philosopher, biblical and patristic scholar; b. at Etaples in Picardy, about 1455; d. at Nerac, 1536
Legacies - In its most restricted sense, by a pious legacy or bequest (legatum pium) is understood, the assigning, by a last will, of a particular thing forming part of an estate, to a church or an ecclesiastical institution
Legate - In its broad signification, means that person who is sent by another for some representative office. In the ecclesiastical sense it means one whom the pope sends to sovereigns or governments or only to the members of the episcopate and faithful of a country, as his representative, to treat of church matters or even on a mission of honour
Legends, Literary or Profane - In the period of national origins history and legend are inextricably mingled. In the course of oral transmission historic narrative necessarily becomes more or less legendary
Legends of the Saints - The legenda are stories about the saints, and often include a mix of historical fact and unhistorical embellishments
Le Gras, Venerable Louise de Marillac - Founder of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, d. 1660
Leibniz, System of - A thorough overview of the life and views of Leibniz
Lemberg - Seat of a Latin, a Uniat Ruthenian, and a Uniat Armenian archbishopric
L'Enfant, Pierre-Charles - French engineer (1755-1833)
Lent - An article on the origins of Lenten fasting
Lentulus, Publius - A fictitious person, said to have been Governor of Judea before Pontius
Leo I (the Great), Pope - Article on his pontificate, in Christian antiquity second only to that of Gregory the Great in importance. Leo died in 461
Leo II, Pope Saint - Biographical article on this pontiff, who died in 683
Leo III, Pope Saint - Biography of this pope, who died in 816
Leo IV, Pope - Biographical article on this Roman, who died in 855
Leo V, Pope - Very little is known of him. No certainty either as to when he was elected or as to exactly how long he reigned
Leo VI, Pope - The exact dates of the election and death of Leo VI are uncertain, but it is clear that he was pope during the latter half of 928
Leo VII, Pope - Date of birth unknown; d. 13 July, 939. A Roman and priest of St. Sixtus, and probably a Benedictine monk, he was elected pope 3 January, 936
Leo VIII, Pope - Date of birth unknown; d. between 20 February and 13 April, 965
Leo IX, Pope - Hagiographical article on this reformer pope, who died in 1054
Leo X, Pope - Reigned 1513-1521
Leo XI, Pope - Reigned 1605
Leo XII, Pope - Born at the Castello della Genga in the territory of Spoleto, 22 August, 1760; died in Rome, 10 February, 1829
Leo XIII, Pope - Lengthy biographical article on the author of 'Rerum novarum.'
Leonard of Limousin, Saint - According to eleventh-century legend, he was a sixth-century Frankish nobleman
Leonardo da Vinci - Florentine painter, sculptor, architect, engineer and scholar (1452-1519)
Lepanto - Italian name for Naupactos (Naupactus) a titular metropolitan see of ancient Epirus
Leprosy - A chronic infectious disease characterized by the formation of growths in the skin, mucous membranes, peripheral nerves, bones, and internal viscera, producing various deformities and mutilations of the human body, and usually terminating in death
Le Puy - Diocese in France
Lesbi - A titular see in Mauretania Sitifensis, suffragan of Sitifis, or Setif, in Algeria
Lesbi - A titular see in Mauretania Sitifensis, suffragan of Sitifis, or Setif, in Algeria
Levites - The subordinate ministers appointed in the Mosaic Law for the service of the Tabernacle and of the Temple
Leviticus - The third book of the Pentateuch, so called because it treats of the offices, ministries, rites, and ceremonies of the priests and Levites
Libel - A malicious publication by writing, printing, picture, effigy, sign, or otherwise than by mere speech, which exposes any living person, or the memory of any person deceased, to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy, or which causes or tends to cause any person to be ashamed or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure any person, corporation, or association of persons, in his, her, or its business or occupation
Liber Pontificalis - A history of the popes beginning with St. Peter and continued down to the fifteenth century, in the form of biographies
Liberal Arts, The Seven - Chiefly used during the Middle Ages. Doesn't mean arts as the word is understood today, but those branches of knowledge which were taught in the schools of that time
Liberalism - A free way of thinking and acting in private and public life
Liberius, Pope - Reigned 352-366
Libraries - Collections of books accumulated and made accessible for public or private use
Lidwina, Saint - Biography of this Dutch woman who died in 1433
Liebermann, Bruno Franz Leopold - Catholic theologian, b., at Molsheim in Alsace 12 Oct., 1759; 4. at Strasburg, 11 Nov., 1844
Life - The enigma of life is still one of the two or three most difficult problems that face both scientist and philosopher
Lights - Article concerned with the general aspects and in particular with the charge so often levelled against Catholicism of adopting wholesale the ceremonial practices of the pagan world
Liguori, Saint Alphonsus - Long biographical article on the founder of the Redemptorists and devotional writer
Lilius, Aloisius - Principal author of the Gregorian Calendar, was a native of Cirò or Zirò in Calabria
Limbo - A word of Teutonic derivation, meaning literally 'hem' or 'border,' as of a garment, or anything joined on
Lindisfarne, Ancient Diocese and Monastery of - The island of Lindisfarne lies some two miles off the Northumberland coast, nine and one-half miles southeast of the border-town of Berwick
Line, Saint Anne - A convert to Catholicism, hanged in 1601 for the (unproven) crime of harboring a priest. She is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales
Linens, Altar - The corporal, pall, purificator, and finger towels
Linus, Pope Saint - Reigned about A.D. 64 or 67 to 76 or 79
Lippi, Filippo - Biography of the Italian painter (1406-1469)
Lisbon - Patriarchate of Lisbon (Lisbonensis)
Litany - A form of responsive prayer, used in public liturgical services and private devotions
Litany of Loreto - Long article examines the somewhat murky history of the Litany of Loreto. Also information on Marian litanies in general
Litany of the Saints - The model of all other litanies, of great antiquity
Literature, English - Latin, French, Italian, Greek, and Spanish literatures are a few of the influences
Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assissi - Little Flowers of Francis of Assisi, the name given to a classic collection of popular legends about the life of St. Francis of Assisi and his early companions as they appeared to the Italian people at the beginning of the fourteenth century
Little Office of Our Lady - Historical article on the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, modeled on the Divine Office
Liturgical Books - All the books, published by the authority of any church, that contain the text and directions for her official (liturgical) services
Liturgical Chant - A chant, if its style, composition, and execution prove it suitable for liturgical use, may properly be called liturgical chant
Liturgy - A Greek composite word meaning originally a public duty, a service to the state undertaken by a citizen
Liturgy of the Hours - Brief essay on the historical development of the Liturgy of the Hours
Liverpool - One of the thirteen dioceses into which Pius IX divided Catholic England, 29 September, 1850, when he re-established the Catholic hierarchy
Loaves of Proposition - Heb. 'bread of the faces', i.e. 'bread of the presence (of Yahweh)' (Ex., xxxv, 13; xxxix, 35, etc.), also called 'holy bread'
Logic - A historical survey from Indian and Pre-Aristotelian philosophy to the Logic of John Stuart Mill
Logos, The - The word Logos is the term by which Christian theology in the Greek language designates the Word of God, or Second Person of the Blessed Trinity
Lollards - The name given to the followers of John Wyclif, an heretical body numerous in England in the latter part of the fourteenth and the first half of the fifteenth century
Lombard, Peter - Biobibliographical essay on the Master of the Sentences
Lombardy - A word derived from Longobardia and used during the Middle Ages to designate the country ruled over by the Longobards, which varied in extent with the varying fortunes of that race in Italy
London (England) - The capital of England and chief city of the British Empire, is situated about fifty miles from the mouth of the Thames
Longstreet, James - Soldier and Catholic convert. Born 8 January, 1821, at Edgefield, South Carolina, U.S.A.; died at Gainesville, Georgia, 2 January, 1904
Lord's Prayer - Although the Latin term oratio dominica is of early date, the phrase 'Lord's Prayer' does not seem to have been generally familiar in England before the Reformation. During the Middle Ages the 'Our Father' was always said in Latin, even by the uneducated. Hence it was then most commonly known as the Pater noster
Lorenzo da Brindisi, Saint - An Italian Capuchin with a talent for languages, much in demand as a preacher, was chaplain of the Imperial army. Doctor of the Church. He died in 1619
Loreto, Holy House of - Since the fifteenth century, and possibly even earlier, the 'Holy House' of Loreto has been numbered among the most famous shrines of Italy
Loreto, Litany of - Long article examines the somewhat murky history of the Litany of Loreto. Also information on Marian litanies in general
Lorraine - By the Treaty of Verdun in 843, the empire of Charlemagne was divided in three parts: Ludwig the German received Eastern Franconia; Charles the Bald, Western Franconia; and Lothair I, the strip of land lying between the two and reaching from the North Sea to the Rhone, with Italy in addition. After the death of Lothair I, in 855, Italy passed to his son Lothair II, who gave his name to the district henceforth known as Lotharii Regnum - Lotharingen, Lothringen, or Lorraine
Lot - Nephew of Abraham
Lottery - A lottery is one of the aleatory contracts and is commonly defined as a distribution of prizes by lot or by chance
Louis IX, Saint - Biographical article on St. Louis, King of France, d. 1270
Louis XIV - King of France, b. at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 16 September, 1638; d. at Versailles, 1 September, 1715; was the son of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, and became king, upon the death of his father, 14 May 1643
Louisiana - Includes history, religious information, and statistics
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, Saint - Missionary to Brittany, d. 1716
Louis of Toulouse, Saint - Bishop, d. 1297
Louise de Marillac Le Gras, Venerable - Founder of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, d. 1660
Louisville, Diocese of - Comprises that part of Kentucky west of the Kentucky River and western borders of Carroll, Owen, Franklin, Woodford, Jessamine, Garrard, Rockcastle, Laurel, and Whitley Counties
Lourdes, Notre-Dame de - The pilgrimage of Lourdes is founded on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux. The first apparition occurred 11 February, 1858
Louvain, University of - In order to restore the splendour of Louvain, capital of his Duchy of Brabant, John IV of the House of Burgundy petitioned the papal authority for the establishment of an educational institution called at the time studium generale. The Bull of Martin V, dated 9 December, 1425, was the result
Love, Theological Virtue of - The third and greatest of the Divine virtues enumerated by St. Paul (1 Cor., xiii, 13), usually called charity, defined: a divinely infused habit, inclining the human will to cherish God for his own sake above all things, and man for the sake of God
Low Church - The name given to one of the three parties or doctrinal tendencies that prevail in the Established Church of England and its daughter Churches, the correlatives being High Church and Broad Church
Lower Criticism - The object of textual criticism is to restore as nearly as possible the original text of a work the autograph of which has been lost
Loyola, Saint Ignatius - Biography of the Spanish founder of the Jesuits, who died in 1556
Lucifer - The name Lucifer originally denotes the planet Venus, emphasizing its brilliance
Lucius I, Pope Saint - Biographical article on this pope, exiled for a time, who reigned less than one year, and died in 254
Lucius II, Pope - Born at Bologna, unknown date, died at Rome, 15 February, 1145
Lucius III, Pope - Died 1185. Innocent II created him Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prassede on 23 February, 1141, and afterwards sent him as legate to France
Lucy, Saint - Virgin and martyr, d. 303 in the Diocletian persecution
Luke, Gospel of Saint - An introduction to the book
Lully, Raymond - Biobibliographical article on Ramon Lull, who is called 'Doctor Illuminatus.'
Lumen Christi - The versicle chanted by the deacon on Holy Saturday as he lights the triple candle
Luna, Pedro de - Antipope under the name of Benedict XIII, b. at Illueca, Aragon, 1328; d. at the Peniscola, near Valencia, Spain, either 29 Nov., 1422, or 23 May, 1423
Lust - The inordinate craving for, or indulgence of, the carnal pleasure which is experienced in the human organs of generation
Luther, Martin - Leader of the great religious revolt of the sixteenth century in Germany; born at Eisleben, 10 November, 1483; died at Eisleben, 18 February, 1546
Lutheranism - The religious belief held by the oldest and in Europe the most numerous of the Protestant sects, founded by the Wittenberg reformer, Martin Luther
Luxemburg - The small remnant of the old duchy of this name and since 11 May, 1867, an independent neutral grand duchy, comprising 998 sq. miles of territory, lying principally between 49°27' and 50°12' N. lat., and 5°45' and 6°32' E. long
Lying - As defined by St. Thomas Aquinas, a statement at variance with the mind
Lyons, Archdiocese of - Comprises the Department of the Rhone (except the Canton of Villeurbanne, which belongs to the Diocese of Grenoble) and of the Loire
Lyons, First Council of - Innocent IV, threatened by Emperor Frederick II, arrived at Lyons 2 December, 1244, and early in 1245 summoned the bishops and princes to the council
Lyons, Second Council of - One of the most largely attended of conciliar assemblies, there being present five hundred bishops, sixty abbots, more than a thousand prelates or procurators
Copyright © 2009 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

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