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Catholic Dictionary




An individual, complete substance existing entirely in itself; an incommunicable substance. The term used by the Church to identify the persons in the Trinity and the union of two natures in one divine person in Christ. A person is a hypostasis endowed with reason. Moreover, hypostasis and nature are related to each other in such a manner that the hypostasis is the bearer of the nature and the ultimate subject of all being and acting, while the nature is that through which the hypostasis exists and acts. (Etym. Latin hypostasis, basis; single substance; rational single substance, person; Greek hypostasis, support, foundation, substance, sediment.)