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

LEVITATION

Phenomenon in which a human body is raised above ground and sustained in midair without any natural support. At times the body rises to great heights; at other times it glides rapidly just above ground.

Well-documented evidence of levitation is reported in the lives of many saints, e.g., Francis Xavier, Paul of the Cross, Peter of Alcántara, Philip Neri, and Stephen of Hungary. One of the most celebrated was St. Joseph Cupertino (1603-63), Conventual Franciscan, who was treated with no little severity by his ecclesiastical superiors because of the disturbance caused by his raptures.

According to Benedict XIV, in order to verify genuine levitation it is first of all necessary to make a thorough investigation to eliminate any chance of fraud. Then he states that a well-authenticated levitation cannot be explained on merely natural grounds; that this phenomenon is not, however, beyond the power of angels or demons; and that with the saints it is a kind of anticipation of a prerogative of glorified bodies.

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

The Blessed Book of Beasts August 30
Weekend reading August 29
Frustrating the Moral Law August 29
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam August 29
An Appointment that Francis Should Withdraw August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8