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Catholic Dictionary




In the Old Testament the Hebrew Kadosch (holy) meant being separated from the secular or profane, or dedication to God's service, as Israel was said to be holy because it was the people of God. The holiness of God identified his separation from all evil. And among creatures they are holy by their relation to him. Holiness in creatures is either subjective or objective or both. It is subjective essentially by the possession of divine grace and morally by the practice of virtue. Objective holiness in creatures denotes their exclusive consecration to the service of God: priests by their ordination, religious by their vows, sacred places, vessels, and vestments by the blessing they receive and the sacred purpose for which they are reserved.