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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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LUMINOUS RAYS

Phenomena of light that sometimes accompany ecstasy. They appear sometimes in a variety of forms, e.g., as a halo about the head or a glow enveloping the whole body. The norms set down to verify the supernatural character of such luminosity begin by ascertaining whether it could not be explained by natural causes. In particular inquiry should be made whether the phenomena take place in full daylight or at night and, if at night, whether the light is more brilliant than any other light; whether it is a mere spark or prolonged over a considerable length of time; whether it occurs during the course of some religious act, such as prayer, a sermon, at the altar; whether there follow provable effects of grace such as lasting conversions; and above all whether the person from whom the radiance proceeds is known to be virtuous and holy.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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