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MARRANO

A Portuguese or Spanish Jew converted to Christianity in the late Middle Ages. The conversion was sometimes under duress and the convert might have adhered to Jewish beliefs and practices in secret. (Etym. Spanish marrano, pig, hog; from Arabic haruma, was forbidden. The pig was called the "forbidden animal," since pork was forbidden by Jewish and Moslem religious law.)

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

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