Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

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

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CORNELIUS

A centurion of an Italian cohort stationed in Caesarea; he enjoyed good relations with the Jewish community but was considered a pagan. He received an angelic visitation, instructing him to send to Jaffa and invite Peter to visit him. His delegation of three men was readily welcomed by Peter because he in turn had been advised by a spirit that Cornelius was sending for him. On his arrival Peter was treated with reverence by the centurion and his household and friends. Peter explained that the traditional taboo against Jews mingling with non-Jews was approved by God, but the Apostle made it clear that no one should be considered profane or unclean (Acts 10). "God," he emphasized, "does not have favorites, but anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him" (Acts 10:34-35). This was not only a welcome message to Cornelius and his friends but a startling revelation to Jewish believers, especially when Peter's explanation was climaxed by the descent of the Holy Spirit on all the listeners. Then Peter gave orders for all those well disposed to be baptized at once (Acts 10:48). Later, when he returned to Jerusalem, some Jews challenged his actions in eating with the uncircumcised and baptizing them. He explained the instructions he had received from God to spread the faith to non-Jews as well as Jews. His questioners were placated. "God," they said, "can evidently grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life" (Acts 11:18).

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

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17