Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $37,014 to go. Please donate!
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

ILLUMINATI

The name in the early Church for catechumens after their baptism. The term is generic for members of various sects inspired by the principles of illuminism, which claims to have access to specially infused knowledge from the divinity. Sometimes the title is loosely applied to such varied groups as the ancient Gnostics, who believed that the perfect life consisted in esoteric knowledge and contemplation; the Montanists, who sought perfection in gifts of prophecy and ecstasy; and the Beghards, who held that the soul can reach an intuitive vision of God on earth. More properly Illuminati refer to the Alumbrados in the sixteenth century and a masonic society in recent times.

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

The Pope is not the problem 20 hours ago
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. 22 hours ago
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? October 22
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6