A modern dictionary of 5,679 Catholic terms (including abbreviations), both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases. All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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A term originally applied to the tomb of a martyr. Later it came to mean the altar erected over the tomb, the underground room that contained the tomb, or even the new resting place to which the remains of the martyr were transferred, or the hollow reliquary in an altar. The most famous confessio, in the sense of a tomb, is that of St. Peter, under the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.