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

GREGORIAN CALENDAR

A record of the days, weeks, and months of a current year. The calendar now used is that of pope Gregory XIII, whose decree established it in 1582. Before then the length of the year was simply the time it took for the earth to travel around the sun. Known as the Julian calendar, it was inaccurate because the earth's journey took a little less than three hundred sixty-five and a quarter days. This error amounted to ten days by Pope Gregory's time. In order to correct this it was calculated that the extra day of leap year would not occur in the century year unless it would be divisible by four hundred, hence 1600 and 2000 would be a leap year, 1700, 1800, 1900 would not be. The Pope suppressed ten days in 1582 and made the calendar obligatory on the Catholic faithful. Following the Gregorian calendar, there is an error of one day in thirty-five centuries. Two astronomers, Lilius and Clavius, had made the necessary calculations. At first Protestant countries refused to use it. England did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752. Eastern Churches are gradually adopting it.

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

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism 11 hours ago
Relax; the Pope didn't change Church teaching with a phone call 12 hours ago
Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20