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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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BAPTISM OF DESIRE

The equivalent sacramental baptism of water, which in God's providence is sufficient to enable a person to obtain the state of grace and to save his or her soul. According to the Church's teaching, "Those who through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictate of their conscience -- those too may achieve eternal salvation" (Second Vatical Council, Constitution on the Church, I, 16).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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