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

LIBELLUS

Certificate of sacrifice, testifying that a person during the Roman persecutions had offered sacrifice to the pagan gods. The officials were requited to superintend the sacrifices on a fixed day, receive in writing a statement from the person, and countersign the testimony in the name of the emperor. Many Christians apostatized; others bought certificates or had them procured by pagan friends. There seems to have been wholesale connivance by the officials. Those who refused to sacrifice were sentenced to prison or even death. A papyrus copy of a libellus, dating from A.D. 250, was discovered at Fayoum, Egypt. Its first part reads: "To the Commissioners for sacrifices in the village of Alexander's island, from Aurelius Diogenes, son of Satabus, of the village of Alexander's island, aged 72; scar on right eyebrow." The receipt of the presiding official reads: "I certify that I witnessed his sacrifice, Aurelius Syrus. Dated this first year of the Emperor Caesar Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius, Pius, Felix, Augustus, the 2nd of Epiph. (26 Jun 250)."

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