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(See Also The Cambridge Concise Bible Dictionary™)

FOR WORKS CITED/USED IN COMPILING, SEE FOOTNOTES:

"V"
Valentinians. —
    A Gnostic sect, who had for founder a certain Valentinus, an Alex- andrian by birth (died, 161). Valentinus' system of Gnostic ideas is, of all, the most elaborate and ingenious, and his sect was the most widely spread. He asserted ** Gnosis," or knowledge to be superior to faith and good works, the latter being nec- essary to the Psychites, or Catholics, but not to the Gnostics. The doctrine of the Valentinians, concerning the redemption and the person of Christ, was similar to that of the Basilidians.

Valentinus.
    — Pope in 827. Died six weeks after his election. He was the suc- cessor of Eugene II.

Valesians.
    — Heretics, disciples of Vale- sius, philosopher of Arabia, who appeared about the year 250. Valesius believed that concupiscence acted upon man with such a violence that he cannot resist it, even with the help of grace; and, upon this false principle, he taught that man cannot be saved except he is an eunuch. This sect spread considerably in Arabia.

Vallombrosa ( Order of)
    . — A celebrated abbey, in Tuscany, founded in the year 1038 by St. John Gualbert, a member of a noble Tuscan family. Our saint had been charged by his father to take a bloody re- venge upon the murderer of his brother Hugh, and, coming up with the object of his search on Good Friday, in a narrow defile, where escape was impossible, he made directly for him.

    The murderer threw himself upon his knees, and, ar- ranging his arms in the form of a cross, besought his antagonist to show mercy out of love of Him who that day suffered for all. From respect for the symbol of sal- vation, and touched with the beauty of the appeal, John not only granted the prayer of the murderer, but took him to his bosom and adopted him in place of the brother he had lost. He then withdrew to pray in the neighboring monastery of San Miniate, and, while kneeling there before a crucifix, saw the figure of our Saviour incline its head towards him. Accepting this as a token of divine approval of what he had done, he at once entered upon an ascetic life, commenced the practice of great austerities, and ended by founding an or- der, whose members were clothed in an ash-colored garment and observed the Rule of St. Benedict in its more severe form. At the death of St. John Gualbert (1072), the community counted twelve monas- teries.

Vatican Council.
    — Twentieth General Council and the First Council of the Vati- can. It was convened by Pope Pius IX., by the Bull yEterni Pair is, published on June 29th, 1868, who summoned the Coun- cil to meet at Rome on Dec. 8th of the ensuing year. The chief objects of the Council as stated in the Bull of indiction were :

    To examine and decree what per- tained to the integrity of faith, and splendor of divine worship; to enforce the observance of ecclesiastical laws ; to efTect a general reformation of customs ; to pro- vide remedies for the ills of both Church and Society; and to bring back to the Church those wandering outside her pale. With this view Pius IX. invited also "all bishops of the Churches of the Oriental rite not in communion with the Apostolic See," and " all Protestants and non-Cath- olics " to attend the Council, exhorting the latter in particular, "to consider whether they were walking in the way marked out by Christ and leading to eternal salvation." When the Council was opened, there were present 719 Fathers, which number in- creased to 769. At the second public ses- sion, on Jan. 6th, 1870, the Pope made his profession of faith, after which all the Fathers followed, declaring at the Chair of St. Peter their adhesion to the one com- mon faith pronounced by the Pastor and Teacher of all. The other constitution, the " First on the Church of Christ," in three chapters treats of the institution, the perpetuity, and nature of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff; the fourth and last chapter defines the infallible teaching of the Pope in matters of faith and morals. On July i8th, the fourth public session was held and the constitution Pater .^ternus, containing the definition of the Papal In- fallibility was promulgated. Of the 535 Fathers who were present on this mo- mentous occasion, 533 voted Placet, and two only — one from Sicily, the other from the United States — Anhyvtred JVon-Placet. Fifty-five bishops, who, indeed, accepted the doctrine of Infallibility, but deemed its definition " not opportune," had ab- sented themselves from this session. The Pope sanctioned with his supreme author- ity, the action of the Council, and pro- claimed officially the decrees and canons of the " First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ." The two above-men- tioned bishops who had voted in the nega- tive, as well as all the others who had ab- stained from voting, or bad been called h£me before the vote was taken, subse- quently sent in their adhesion to the con- stitution.

    On the same day that the Vatican Coun- cil defined the dogma of the Infallibility, Napoleon III. declared war against Prus- sia. The withdrawal of the French troops from Rome and the occupation of that city by the Piedmontese king, Victor Em- manuel, caused the Pope (Oct. 20th) to

    indefinitely suspend the sessions of the Council of the Vatican.

Vatican Palace.
    — The Vatican Palace in Rome is the principal residence of the Pope, and the seat of the great library and the museums, and collections of art, an- cient and modern, which, for visitors, con- stitute one of the chief attractions of the city of Rome. The Popes, very soon after the establishment of the peace of the Church under the Emperor Constantine, had a residence at the Vatican, which they occupied, although at certain intervals, conjointly with that of the Lateran. For a long time, however, through the me- diaeval and especially the late mediaeval period, the Vatican appears to have been neglected. It was Nicholas V. who began the systematic scheme for the improve- ment and embellishment of the Vatican, which has resulted in what, taken alto- gether, may be regarded as the noblest of princely residences. The Popes Paul II., Paul III., Sixtus IV., Leo X., Sixtus V., Benedict XIV., Clement XIV., Pius VL, and Pius VII. pursued the same plan. It forms a long square, from the south to the north. It has three stories; they count therein 20 courts, 8 great staircases, 200 staircases for service, 13,000 rooms (the underground apartments included). Most remarkable therein is the Sistine Chapel (with the Last Judgment of Michael Angelo) and the Pauline Chapel, which is reached by the royal staircase {scala regia), built by Bernin ; the court of St. Damasus, surrounded on three sides by several portico-stories {loggia), who have given their name to a series of 52 paintings called Loggia of Raphael; the Stanza or chambers of Raphael j chambers of the Fire of Bourg (France), of the School of Athens or of the Signa- ture, of Helodorus and of Constantine; the Pinakothek or gallery of tablaus (with the Transfiguration oi Raphael); the gal- lery of the A razzi or tapestries of Raphael ; the Borgia apartment (books and engrav- ings) ; the Chamber of the Aldobrandinian Nuptials (antique paintings) ; the Vatican Library (24,000 manuscripts) ; the Chiara- monti and Pio-Clementino museums (the latter occupying the part of the palace called the Belvedere), which contain the most beautiful antique marble monuments ; several other museums; sacred, profane, Etruscan, Egyptian museums, a stone gal- lery, etc. On the west of the palace is situated the great Vatican Garden, with the Pia villa.

Vaughan (Herbert). — An English Ro- man Catholic prelate ; born at Gloucester, April 15th, 1832. He was educated at Stonyhurst College, and at Rome, where he attended the Accademia Del Nobili Ec- clesiastici ; was ordained priest in 1854, re- turned to England, founded and became president-general of St. Joseph Foreign Missionary College, Mill Hill, Middlesex, and in 1871 accompanied to Maryland the first detachment of priests who were sent on a special mission to the colored popula- tion of the United States. He was elected bishop of Salford in 1872. In March, 1892, he succeeded the late Cardinal Wiseman as archbishop of Westminster, and in 1893 was himself created a cardinal. He iden- tified himself with the movement against intemperance, took an active part in the rescue of children and in commercial edu- cation, in the interest of which he built St. Bede's College. He was appointed Pri- mate of the Catholic Church in England, and is the proprietor of the Tablet and the Dublin Revieiv.

Veil of the Religious. — We distinguish several kinds of veils : the veil of profes- sion, the veil of consecration, the veil of ordination, the veil of prelature, the veil of continence and of observance ; lately they have added the veil of probation, i. The veil of profession is that which is given to the religious when they pronounce their vows. 2. The veil of consecration is that which the bishop gave to the virgins, with certain ceremonies which are no longer ob- served in the ordinary profession and which formerly took place on the day of Epiphany, during the octave of Easter and on the feasts of the Apostles. The bishop gave a ring to the religious who contracted an al- liance with Jesus Christ and observed other ceremonies which are seldom ob- served to-daj', except among the Carthusian nuns, and some others. 3. The veil of or- dination is that of the deaconesses who, in virtue of particular blessings which the bishop gave to them, could solemnly sing the Gospel at matins, but not during high Mass. 4. The veil of prelature or of su- periority was that given to abbesses when they were blessed. 5. The veil of conti- nence and of observance is that which they gave to the widows and married ladies separated from their husbands, and who engaged themselves to pronounce religious

profession. 6. The veil of probation is the one still given to-day to young novices at their first reception, and which is generally white.

Veil ( The) in Liturgy. — At solemn high Mass, the subdeacon during the part of the ceremony, has his arms and shoulders muf- fled with a species of scarf of an oblong shape, which is usually composed of the same material as the vestments, and is called Veil. In the primitive ages of the Church, the number of those who partook of the Blessed Eucharist every Sunday, to- gether with the priest was very great, and, in consequence, the paten or sacred disc, from which the sacred species used to be distributed, was so large in its dimensions that convenience required it to be removed from the altar as soon as the oblation had been made, and not brought back until the time for giving the communion to the Faithful. The ''Liber Pontificalis" enu- merates several of these patens or discs of gold and silver, which weighed as much as twenty-five or thirty pounds. See Paten.

Veronica (St.). — A Jewish woman who wiped the face of our Saviour on His journey to Calvary, with a linen which re- tained our Lord's imprint. This is the chief picture of the Saviour which they call the " Holy Face " or Veronica. It is preserved in the basilica of the Vatican. According to tradition, St. Veronica came into Gaul with St. Martial and St. Ama- tor; assisted them in their apostolic la- bors, and died at Soulac (Gironde), in the year 70. F. Feb. 3d.

Vespers are the sixth part of the canon- ical hours. Vespers, in the primitive Church, were the prayers which answered to the sac- rifice which, under the law of Moses, they offered at Jerusalem at sunset, and during which they burned incense. The Church does not oblige, in a strict manner, the Faithful to assist at Vespers on Sunday ; but they should make it a duty not to miss Ves- pers, if they wish to keep the Sunday holy. Vespers, undoubtedly, go back to great antiquity in the Church, which has insti- tuted them, according to grave authors, to honor the burial of our Lord and to give an occasion to the Faithful to praise God and to thank Him for the benefits with which He overwhelms us every day. The ancient canons required the Faithful to assist at Vespers, as at Mass, and during many centuries the Faithful assisted at the

Vestments

701

Vestments

evening office as well as at the morning office. To-day, there is no precept in this regard, and it is no sin in itself not to as- sist at Vespers ; but there may be a venial sin in virtue of an ancient and general cus- tom among us, if one omits them without sufficient reason, through negligence or sloth. Also, the Faithful who are anxious to sanctify the day of the Lord, make it a duty not to miss Vespers. We cannot praise enough the conduct of a great num- ber of Faithful who, finding it impossible to assist at Vespers, recite them at home. Although they are not obliged to do this, they cannot fail in acting thus, to draw down upon themselves the blessings of heaven. The Vespers of Sunday, and ordinary holy days of the year, are com- posed of five Psalms and five antiphons, a chapter, hymn, Magnificat, and a prayer.

Vestments {Sacred). — From the con- current testimony of writers who have be- stowed much laborious research upon the investigation of this subject, it appears, that during the infancy of the Church, the garments worn by her priesthood when employed in offering up the holy Eucha- ristic Sacrifice, were identically the same in form and composed of similar materials with those corresponding articles of dress in the ordinary apparel, adopted by persons of that period. One distinction, however, was observed. The garments once em- ployed in the celebration of the sacred mysteries were forever afterwards exclu- sively appropriated to the same holy pur- pose ; and it was regarded as highly inde- corous, if not a profanation, to alienate them from the service of the altar, and to wear them when otherwise engaged. In ancient, as in modern days, fashion had her waywardness, though her changes were not so sudden nor so capricious as at present. But her innovations were not permitted to invade the precincts of the sanctuary, and the ecclesiastical vestments retained their original form, while the cos- tume of civil society underwent a perfect but gradual transformation. In process of time those garments, which once were uni- versally worn, without regard to age, sta- tion, or employment, by the more respect- able members of society, became peculiar to the servants of the altar. This began to be discernible about the close of the fourth century. From the moment that Con- stantine declared himself a Christian, the

ceremonies of the Church were performed with splendor, and regal magnificence throughout the sacred ritual. Before this period, the vestments of the priesthood at the altar, though not always, were more frequently composed of the less expensive materials, and decorated merely with a scarlet stripe, which was then denominated latus clavus. This was now exchanged for a vesture the same, indeed, in form, but manufactured of the richest stuff. Re- ligion suggests, and propriety insists on the appropriation of a distinctive habit to the priest and his attendants at the al- tar while occupied in the public functions of their ministry. That amid the other members of the commonwealth its public functionaries should be distinguished by some appropriate costume is, and, from time immemorial, has been everywhere acknowledged. For in every government, whether it be a republic or a monarchy, a distinctive uniform is assigned to a soldier, a magistrate, a judge seated on his tribunal of justice, and an advocate while pleading at bar. Similar motives of propriety have influenced the Church in ordering her ministers to array themselves in certain vestments while employed in the public celebration of her liturgy and the adminis- tration of her sacraments. In the Old Law we find that the Almighty instructed Moses with minute precision, relative to the sacred vestments (Ex. xxviii. 2-6,33; Ezech. xlii. 14). The peculiarities of style in building will help to fix the era in which an edifice was erected ; the form of character, together with the material on which it is written, will materially assist the antiquary in detecting the date of an inscription ; the costume of a state or the accessories of a picture, will serve to as- certain the period when the individual represented flourished, as well as to an- nounce his rank or condition. So it is with the Catholic Church. Both her vast and spiritual edifice declare that her archi- tect was Christ, while the Apostles were the builders ; her language proclaims what tongues were common to the world at that period of her birth, and have ever been familiar to her from her infancy up- wards; while the antiquated fashion of those garments which her ministers put on when officiating, not only speaks to us of centuries gone by, and can alone furnish us with remnants of the dress of republi- can or imperial Rome, but announces to us her jealousy, not only of guarding the

Viaticum

702

Victor

deposit of faith, but of retaining the use of things indifferent in themselves.

Viaticum. — Holy communion given to those in danger of death. We call it Vi- aticum because it strengthens and fortifies in the painful voyage from time to eternity. One can communicate as Viaticum even without fasting, when the danger of death continues. One can repeat the administra- tion of the Viaticum during the same sick- ness. The Church makes it an obligation to receive holy communion, if this can be done, when one is in danger of death, even when one has fulfilled the duty of Easter communion before becoming dangerously iU.

Vicar Apostolic. — Name given to bish- ops which the Pope names to ancient sees situated now in infidel countries, such as Turkey, Africa, and to whom he gives au- thority in any country, under the title as immediate vicars of the Holy See on which they depend directly, while the local bishops, in a country hierarchically organ- ized, depend on the metropolitans. There are vicars apostolic in the missions, the colonies, in heretical States, as formerly in England and in the United States. The Vicar Apostolic is instituted by the Pope to exercise in his name certain functions which His Holiness alone can perform. The Pope gives the title of Vicar Apostolic to bishops which he sends into the Oriental missions; and they are mostly all bishops in partibus; many have coadjutors.

Vicar {Capitular). — When a bishopric or an archbishopric becomes vacant, either by the death of the one who occupied it, or by his being transferred to another see, or by any other circumstance, the Chapter, according to the Council of Trent, is ex- pressly bound to elect, within eight days, an official or vicar, or to confirm the one who is established. The vicar thus elected by the Chapter (cap itulum), is called Capitu- lar Vicar. Should they neglect to do so, this duty will devolve on the metropoli- tan, or in case that the metropolitan see is vacant, then this duty devolves on the most ancient bishop among the sufifragans.

Vicar General. — Name given to the ec- clesiastic, who is named by the bishop to exercise his voluntary and gracious juris- diction, for the contentious jurisdiction is exercised by the official especially ap- pointed by tlie bishop. The origin of Vicar Generals, such as they are consti-

tuted to-day, does not appear to be very ancient, because we find no trace thereof in the ancient canons. Their powers reg- ulate themselves, on the one hand, accord- ing to the general dispositions of canon law, and on the other, according to the content of his commission, which supplies what the law does not express and some- times curtails what the law expresses ; for the bishop can, in his commission, limit the power of the Vicar General, and forbid him to take knowledge of certain affairs, which are, moreover, comprised in the gen- eral commission. The common practice of the Church and the texts of canon law seem to authorize only one Vicar General for a diocese.

Vicar or Assistant. — Name given to the priest who assists a curate in the pastoral functions. He has for title only the mis- sion or approbation of the bishop, who, consequently, can change him or revoke him at will. It belongs to the bishops to judge of the necessity there may be to ap- point assistants in parishes. The Council of Trent attributes this power to them.

Victor. — Bishop of Vita in Africa, was exiled by the Arian King Huneric. He is the author of a History of the Vandalic Persecution which he wrote in 487, and is one of the principal sources of the history of the Vandals.

Victor (name of three Popes). — Vic- tor I. — Pope from 192 to 201. A native of Africa, exerted his zeal particularly in the controversy relating to the celebration of Easter. For the settling of this ques- tion he held a synod at Rome, and called upon the bishops everywhere to meet in Councils for the same purpose. He ex- communicated Theodotus of Byzantium and decided that common water might, in case of necessity, be used in baptism. Victor II. — Pope from 1054 to 1057. A native of Germany. He continued the reforms begun by his predecessors. Held a Council in the presence of Emperor Henry IH. at Florence, in which decrees were enacted against the alienation of Church property, and the prevailing vices. Victor III. — Pope from 1086 to 1087. Owing to machinations of the imperialists, he dared not remain long in Rome; he re- tired to Lower Italy. In 1087, he held a Council at Beneventum, which renewed the excommunication of the antipope, Guibert of Ravenna, and the condemna- tion of simony and lay investiture.

Victor

703

Vincent

Victor (St.). — Martyr at Marseilles. Soldier in the Roman armies, upheld the courage of the Christians during persecu- tion, and was beheaded, under Diocletian and Maximian (290) . With him suffered three other soldiers whom he had con- verted : Alexander, Felician, and Longinus. F. July 2ist.

Victorinus (surnamed Petaviensis or Pictaviensis). — Latin ecclesiastical writer, bishop of Petavium (Styria), mar- tyr under Diocletian, about 303. His works, praised by St. Jerome, have not reached us; they confounded him often with the next.

Victorinus (Fabius Marius) (surnamed the African). — A famous rhetorician, who had the honor of having a statue set up in the Roman Forum. He was ad- vanced in age, when, to the amazement of the pagans and the joy of the Christians, he embraced Christianity, in 361. He wrote several works against the Arians and Manicheans, and commentaries on three of St. Paul's Epistles.

Vienna is a city in the department of Isere, France, sixteen miles south of Lyons. It was the earliest center of Chris- tianity in Gaul. The Archbishop of Vi- enne was the Primate of Gaul until the French Revolution. Several ecclesiastical councils were held there, of which the most important is that of 1311-12, in which Pope Clement V. suspended the order of the Templars (Bull of May 2d, 1312).

Vigil, we call the day that immediately precedes a feast. We call it vigil or watch, because in ancient times the Faith- ful assembled in the churches on the eve of the solemnities, and passed therein a part of the night in praising God by singing Psalms and reading Holy Scripture. Sev- eral abuses having crept into these noc- turnal assemblies, the Church suppressed them, with the exception of the vigil of Christmas. The office commenced gen- erally about nine o'clock in the evening, and ended about one o'clock in the morn- ing. The Church has instituted the fast of the vigils of certain great feasts, in or- der that detaching ourselves through pen- ance and mortification, from the inordinate love which we have for our body, we may elevate ourselves more easily to spiritual and divine things, and celebrate more

worthily the great mysteries of religion. If the vigil of a feast falls on a Sunday, as, according to the apostolic constitutions, it is not permitted to fast on this day, because it is a day of rejoicing, the fast is advanced and kept on Saturday. Some vigils are celebrated without fasting, like that of Epiphany and of the Ascension ; the rea- son why the Church has not prescribed fasting on these days, is because it appears incompatible with the joy with which the birth and resurrection of Christ inspire us. The vigils of feasts are fast days of obligation. They are: the vigils of Eas- ter, Pentecost, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, All-Saints, and Christmas.

Vigilantius (Heretic of the fourth cen- tury). — A priest of Barcelona, Spain; ac- companied St. Jerome into Palestine and, at his return into Gaul, attacked fasting and the veneration of saints and relics which he declared a pagan superstition, celibacy of the priests, the monks, etc. He was refuted by St. Jerome.

Vigilius. — Pope from 540 to 555. Born at Rome; papal apocrisiary in Constanti- nople, was forced upon the Romans as Pope by the Empress Theodora in 536, against the legitimately elected Silverius. After the death of the latter, in 540, Vigilius resigned the papal dignity which he had usurped, but was then canonically re- elected, after which he defended the orthodox doctrine, and declared himself against the Monophysites. Called to Con- stantinople by Emperor Justinian (546), on account of the dispute of The Three Chapters, he only gave, after illtreatment, imprisonment and exile, his consent to the decrees of the synod of Constantinople (Fifth General Council) and died while re- turning to Syracuse, in 555. See Chap- ters {The Three).

Vigilius. — Bishop of Thapsus, in Africa, about the end of the fifth century. Per- secuted by Huneric, king of the Vandals, he retired to Constantinople. He wrote against the Arians, Eutychians, and Nes- torians, and published his works under the name of St. Augustine and St. Athana- sius, so that it is difficult to determine those which properly belong to him.

Vincent (St.). — Deacon and martyr of Saragossa (304). By his heroic courage in suffering the most cruel torments, he con- verted his tormenter. F. Jan. 22d.

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Vincent of Beauvais (Lat. Vincentius Bellovacensis). — A Dominican monk of the thirteenth century, friend and precep- tor of Louis IX., died in 1264. His chief work is Speculum, i. e., Mirror, encyclo- paedia of universal knowledge in his time, and contains more that 2,000 extracts from works, mostly lost. It was first printed at Strassburg, 1473.

Vincent of Lerins (St.). — Born at Toul, France, died about 450. Monk of Lerins; rendered himself famous by his admirable Commonitory against Heretics, which he composed to guard the Faithful against the snares of false teachers. F. May 24th.

Vincent of Paul (St.). Se^PAUL.

Virginity (state of being a virgin). — In religion, the state of a person that has re- nounced marriage to consecrate herself to God. At all times, and in all nations, this state has been an object of respect. Sev- eral deities, according to the ideas of pa- gans, were virgins. Minerva, Diana were virgins ; the poets call Justitia or Themis the virgin par excellence. We know of the veneration the Romans had for the vestals, that of the Peruvians for the virgins con- secrated to the sun. The Chinese, the savage tribes of both North and South America also honored virginity. Our Lord, not only insisted on the indissolu- bility of marriage, but He went further, and enjoined under certain circumstances, complete continence. " For there are eu- nuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it" (Matt. xix. 12). No sane man would suggest here a literal interpretation, but the spiritual interpreta- tion will lead of necessity to the doctrine of voluntary restraint, for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. It does not con- travene the doctrine of the sacredness of marriage, but it suggests a higher state of perfection for those to whom it isgiven by God to pass their lives wholly in the service of the Lord, and to take, as their model not Martha with her homely carefulness about many things, but the contemplative Mary. The God — Man set the example Him- self. The disciples copied it in their way ; for we are not aware that any of them mar- ried after entering the service of our Lord ; but we know that every one of them left all things and followed Him ; and what Jesus meant by "all things" we learn from His own words : •' Every one that hath left

house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, shall receive a hundred fold, and shall possess life everlasting." (Matt. xix. 29). The " woman " or " sister " men- tioned in I. Cor. ix. 5, does not prove that the Apostles went on their missionary journey's with their wives. All the ancient writers took for granted that John, whom the Lord loved, was a virgin. Concerning virgins, St. Paul gives a counsel not a command of the Lord, but thinks that he has received from the Lord the grace to be faithful. The drift of the counsel is that it is good for man to be able to remain even as he is, and that the married should live as unmarried. The undivided service of God is above earthly considerations. " It is indisputa- ble," says Weizacker, "that the Apostle sets out with the conviction that virginity ranks higher than the married state." Voluntary continence is to be esteemed holy, and hence the glorious state of vir- ginity is to be honored. In the course of time, virginity, like widowhood, became a widespread institution in the Church. Anyone reading the spiritual panegyrics of the Fathers : Chrysostom, Basil, Am- brose, and others on virgins consecrated to God, must feel convinced that the Church has in this, solved not only a re- ligious and moral, but even a great social problem. How powerful is the contrast drawn by St. Ambrose between the vestal virgins of Symmachus, and the choir of Christian virgins.

Virtue. — Virtue is that habit or quality which enables and inclines us to do good works ; in other words, it is the facility and constant inclination of doing the will of God. Virtue implies more than a single action. He who has performed a good ac- tion is not, therefore, virtuous ; and he who has done an evil deed may still be virtuous. Virtue denotes a permanent quality, a last- ing fitness and facility to do good. As there are natural and supernatural good works, so there are also natural and super- natural virtues, according as the fitness and facility of doing good has been natu- rally acquired by the repetition of good actions or proceeds from a supernatural source.

Virtues {Cardinal). — So called be- cause they are exercised in the sphere of moral action^, as the four cardinal points {car dines coeli). They are in the number of four and contain all the others : i. Pru-

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dence : moral state in which the intelligence enables the understanding of what is morally good to do or to avoid ; a virtue which has its foundation in the will, which determines the direction of the intellectual faculties. It comprehends foresight, cir- cumspection, suppleness, modesty, dis- trust. 2. Justice : it consists in rendering to each what belongs to him. It is accom- panied with piety, devotion, obedience, re- spect, probity, moderation, gratitude, disinterestedness. 3. Temperance: it con- sists in the control, which one exercises over his affections, passions, and instincts, which he subordinates to more elevated purposes, which the will endeavors to at- tain. It is accompanied with sobriety, benevolence, mildness, humility in a strict sense, chastity and continence. 4. Strength or Courage, which reveals itself in the moral firmness with which we surmount obstacles, opposed to the consummation of good. With courage are associated pa- tience, perseverance, magnanimity. The Stoics have the merit of being the first to formulate these virtues into theory and some among them almost put them into practice. These virtues are in themselves the accomplishment of the natural law. The theological virtues are, on the con- trary, especially Christian virtues.

Virtues ( Theological) . — Theological virtues we call : Faith, Hope, and Charity. These virtues, whether considered in themselves, or in their effects, or in their growth and perfection, occupy the first place in Christian life. If compared with the moral virtues, the theological virtues occupy the place of the end, to which the former are a means. For, by the moral virtues we are inclined so to regulate our actions, as to remove all obstacles from our union with God, and to procure the means towards our union with Him. By the di- vine virtues, on the other hand, we are actually united with God — the all-truthful, by faith, with God the all-faithful, by hope, with God the chief good, by love. In the same proportion, therefore, as the end is superior to the means, the divine virtues are superior to the moral. The object of the Christian life is to- prepare us for the future possession of God, our supernatural end. Now, this end is chiefly attained by the three theological virtues. For faith teaches us to know God as our super- natural end ; hope arouses in us the long- ing to possess Him ; love unites us with 45

Him as far as this is possible here on earth. The three divine virtues comprise the entire Christian life. For faith is the beginning of salvation, the foundation and root of justice; the hope of the posses- sion of God, as the object of eternal hap- piness urges us to implore God's grace and to make use of the means of grace ; charity insures the observance of God's commandments, since it is active in its very nature, and cannot exist without the fulfillment of the law. The growth and perfection of the three divine virtues im- ply at the same time the increase and per- fection o^ the whole internal spiritual life. Since the divine virtues are infused into the soul as permanent habits to enable us to perform the functions of supernatural life, it follows that in proportion as the supernatural life itself, or sanctifying grace, is augmented, those virtues them- selves are increased and perfected. The theological virtues are, consequently, in- creased by the same means as sanctifying grace itself.

Vision {Intuitive) or Beatific Vision we

call the vision by which the Bles.sed see God in heaven. Some heretics have pre- tended that man, through the sole power of nature, can arrive at the intuitive vision of God ; this error has been condemned by the Council of Vienne (1311). It is evi- dent, indeed, that for the meritorious works, which are the means of salvation, man is in need of grace, with much more reason is he in need of supernatural help for salvation itself, which is in itself noth- ing but the beatific vision. The Church teaches that the just who are free from all sin and all punishment due to sin enjoy beatific vision immediately after death. Pope John XXII. had, speaking in his per- sonal name and as individual doctor, taught that, until the day of resurrection, the souls would not see the face of God, and that the Blessed enjoy only the vision of the humanity of Christ. If he did not teach this, as received doctrine, in the Latin Church, it was at least his desire, that this opinion should be considered as problematical. But he never decided any- thing about the subject, and, at the ap- proach of death he retracted all he might have said and believed about the question. This doctrine, borrowed from the Greeks, and which apparently could not be recon- ciled with that of the invocation of saints, excited the minds a good deal. The Paris

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University declared it erroneous; twenty- four theologians of the theological faculty of Paris, assembled by King Philip the Fair, decided that the souls of the Blessed are admitted to a clear, intuitive, beatific and immediate vision of the divine essence, a vision which the Apostle calls " face to face." Pope Benedict XI. and the Coun- cil of Florence decided the question like the doctors of the Paris University did. The Council of Trent confirmed these de- cisions. Protestants have made use of this circumstance to argue against the infalli- bility of the Pope; they refuse to admit that Pope John XXII. spoke here only in his individual name and not ex cathedra and as head of the Church. This truth had not yet been defined as an article of faith. This was done only in the Council of Florence (1439).

In what does the intuitive vision consist? It is not an ideal representation of the Deity, such as we have in this life, but an immediate manifestation which God makes of Himself to the Blessed. St. Paul speaks of this vision when he says : " We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face" (I. Cor. xiii. 12). And we read in the Gospel: "The angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven " (Matt, xviii. 10). Moreover, the theologians say that the Blessed see all things in the Word, as in a (concentric) looking-glass wherein all things reflect themselves, for it is in His Word that God has the ideas of all things. The beatific vision is not for all alike : " There are several mansions in the house of my Father," .says our Lord (John xiv. 2). And the Apostle says: "One star differs in brightness from another star " (I. Cor. xiv. 41). This vision, although intuitive, will not, on this account, be completive, that is, the created spirit, al- though assisted by the light of glory, will nevertheless not be capable of embracing the whole extent of the divine essence, and the creature is essentially limited. Al- though it is not absolutely repugnant that God may grant, in the present life, to a man, the beatific vision, nevertheless, theologians generally agree that God never did grant this to any creature.

Visit ad Limina SS. Apostolorum

(visiting the place where the Pope re- sides). — The Pope has supreme and unappealable jurisdiction, not only in matters of faith and morals, but also of

discipline. It is the duty of the sovereign Pontiff to watch over the discipline of the entire Church. He must, therefore, know the condition of all the churches or dioceses in the world. Hence, he must have the right to demand from bishops an account of the state of the dioceses. Bishops, therefore, are obliged to visit Rome in person at certain intervals, and report the exact state of their dioceses. The bishops of Italy and Greece must go to Rome once every three years ; the bishops of Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, England, Scotland, once every four years ; the bishops of Ireland, of the rest of Europe, of North Africa, once every five years; finally, the bishops of America, once every ten years. From this right of supreme direction, inherent in the Pontiff, there follows to him the right, in the exercise of this his office, of freely communicating with the pastors and flocks of the whole Church.

Visitation (Episcopal). — A bishop, in order to be able to properly govern his dio- cese, and report correctly to the Holy See, when he pays his visit ad sacra limina, should be well informed of the state of his diocese. Now, he can best inform himself on this head by traveling over his diocese, and thus personally inspect the condi- tion of its various churches. In the East, bishops from the earliest times deputed priests to make the visitation ; while in the West bishops were, in the sixth century, obligated to personally traverse or visit their dioceses. These visitations which had to some extent, fallen into desuetude, were re-established by the Council of Trent, and made obligatory on bishops and others having the right to make visitations. The object of visitations is chiefly to maintain sound doctrine and preserve good morals, correct abuses, etc.

Visitation (i^.eaj/ of the). — Festival in- stituted in commemoration of the Blessed Virgin visiting her cousin, St. Elisabeth. It is celebrated on July 2d. Established by St. Bona venture, in 1263, for the Order of St. Francis, it was extended to the univer- sal Church by Urban VI. in 1379.

Visitation ( Order of the). — A religious order founded by the joint efforts of two devout souls, viz., St. Francis de Sales (see this subject) and Madame Frances de Chantal, at Annecy, in 1610. The mem- bers of the congregation were not at first

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strictly bound to observe the rules of the religious bodies living in common, the chief aim of the good ladies being pri- marily to serve the sick. Some time later, St. Francis enjoined upon them the ob- servance of the Rule of St. Augustine, to which he added some particular constitu- tions of his own; and in 1618 Pope Paul V. raised the congregation to the rank of a religious order, under the title of the " Or- der of the Visitation of the Blessed Vir- gin." To their original purpose, that of educating the youth of their own sex was now added. Before the death of St. Francis, the Order counted eighty-seven houses in France and Savoy alone, and since that time they have become numerous in Italy, Germany, Poland, and North America.

Vitalianus. — Pope from 657 to 672. Born at Segni in Campania; had to com- bat the Monothelites as well as the schism cf Ravenna. He insisted on the ecclesiastical discipline, and introduced into England the ecclesiastical hierarchy (668) through Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury. He has left eleven Letters.

Voltaire (FRANgois Marie Arouet de) (1694-1778). — French writer and poet; was born at Paris, and when ten years old entered the Jesuit College. Be- fore he was out of college he began writ- ing poetry. His wit as well as the iniluence of his godfather, the Abb^ de Chateauneuf, secured for him an intro- duction into the most aristocratic circles of Parisian society. But the freedom of his utterances soon brought him into trou- ble. Between 1716 and 1726 he was twice exiled from Paris, and twice thrown a prisoner into the Bastille. In 1725 he had to leave the country and then went to England, where he stayed three years. In 1729 he returned to France, and in 1750 'we find Voltaire at the court of Berlin, where he stayed three years, the result be- ing a quarrel with Frederick II., king of Prussia. Soon after this he settled at Ferney, where the rest of his life was spent. His literary works embrace 70 oc- tavo volumes. Voltaire was the chief of the French philosophers of the eighteenth century, who had entered a systematic warfare against Christianity. Voltaire's watchword was: Ecrassez Vinfa7ne'. (Crush ilie infamous thing'!) thereby meaning Christianity. His glowing and fervent hate speaks out in his witty and obscene pages. He calls the narrative of

Holy Writ imitations of the mythological fables, and revives the calumnies of Cel- sus against the Apostles and the first Chris- tians. He overwhelms the ceremonies of the Church, the bishops and priests, with a stream of insults and vile suspicions.

Vo^y. — A vow is a solemn and deliberate promise, given with full understanding of the gravity of the obligation and duty en- tered upon, and with free consent, by which we make some formal engagement with God, and in His service, from which we can- not release ourselves without sin, either mortal or venial, according to the character of the vow made. '* If any man make a vow to the Lord, or bind himself by an oath : he shall not make his word void but shall fulfill all that he promised " (Num. xxx. 3). A vow may be positive, that is, uncondi- tional; conditional, that is, to be executed under certain circumstances; personal, that is, binding no other person; real, that is, concerning the gift of some object, an obligation which may descend to suc- cessors ; temporary, that is, for a time only ; perpetual, that is, forever; private, that is, peculiar to one's self; of religion, that is, a vow made to enter a religious order. A vow ceases to be binding, only, when a change of circumstances renders its ac- complishment impracticable, or so exceed- ingly difficult as to cause undue detriment to the person concerned. Also, when the obligation is annulled or suspended by a superior, to whom the person taking the vow is really subject. Also, when dispen- sation or commutation is obtained by ec- clesiastical authority in the power our Lord gave His Church to "bind" and to "loose" (Matt. xvi. 19; xviii. 18). Avow should never be undertaken without mature reflection, ample time for consideration, and advice from a spiritual director who knows all the circumstances and conditions involved, and who has full power to judge and counsel.

Vulgate. — Latin version of the Holy Scriptures, which is in use in the Catholic Church. It replaced, in the Latin Church, the ancient version called Italic, and has always enjoyed a great authority. The Council of Trent has declared it authentic and prescribed its usage in controversies, public readings, preaching and in explain- ing the Scriptures, by giving to it the pref- erence over all the other versions, and by declaring expressly that nobody, under whatever pretext it might be, should have

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the audacity or presnmption to reject it. The Vulgate comprises: i. The proto- canonical books of the Old Testament, translated by St. Jerome from the Hebrew, and the Books of Tobias and Judith, trans- lated from the Chaldaic. 2. Books of the Old Testament, such as they were found in the ancient Italic, that is the Book of Wis- dom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, the first and second of the Machabees, and the letter of Jeremias. St. Jerome, it is true, had trans- lated the whole Psalter from the Hebrew ; but this version has not been adopted, on account of the long usage one had made in the Church of the Psalter of the ancient Italic. 3. The Books of the New Testa- ment of the ancient Italic, corrected from the Greek text by the same Father, accord- ing to the request of Pope Damasus. St. Isidore of Sevilla, affirmed, about the year 630, that the version of the Sacred Scrip-

tures, made from the Hebrew into Latin by St. Jerome, was generally in use in all the Churches. It is certain that, shortly after the time of St. Isidore, all the Laun Churches made use exclusively of the new Vulgate, with the exception of the Psalter according to the Septuagint, which has been preserved. Thus the force of custom, as well as the unanimous consent of the Churches by introducing the Vulgate, pre- pared the way for the decrees of the Coun- cil of Trent. The famous Protestant interpreter Drusius praises the Council for having given to the Vulgate the sanc- tion of its authority, " because," he says, " the new versions are no better and have perhaps greater defects." As to the di- verse editions of our Vulgate, we limit ourselves here to point out that of the learned Barnabite Father Charles Vercel- lonne, Rome, 1861. FOOTNOTE-1: General info:

    Mixed Theology answers especially to the wants of our time. It consists of articles whose characteristics are philosophical, scientific, artistic, and literary. This class of articles has for object to urge our contemporary adversaries, with the help of demonstrative resources that are offered by philosophy, the sciences, arts, and belles-lettres, to admit the great truths, continually attacked by them.

    They address themselves to all kinds of readers, and, by studying them carefully, may they put into practice the declared proposition of Pope Pius IX., before it was taken up again and embodied into the decrees of the Vatican Council: "The use of reason precedes faith and leads man to it with the help of revelation and grace"; Rationis usus jidem prcecedit, et ad earn kominem ape revelationis et gratice conducit. If some of the articles appear to have been given too much space, then the importance of the subjects makes up for this.

    Historical Theology has for its object, as the name implies, Theologico- Historic Generalities and Varieties. It comprises Popes, Councils, Particular Churches, Religious Orders, Famous Schools, Biographies and Bibliographies, Religious Sects, Ecclesiastical Dignities, etc.

    Finally, Pure Theology consists of Theological and Exegetical Genralities and Varieties ; God and the Creation ; Christ and all that is directly connected with Our Lord ; the Church and the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy ; Grace and the Sacraments ; Ecclesiastical Morals and Precepts, etc.

    These are, in great outlines, the subjects treated in the Ecclesiastical Dictionary. We shall be judged in the future. For to-day, our only ambition is to be appreciated in the simple exposition of the subjects contained in our work; and we trust that the book will find many readers, who are solely animated by the love of truth.

FOOTNOTE-2: WORKS USED IN COMPILING THE CAMBRIDGE COMBINED DICTIONARY of CHRISTIANITY,