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MESSALIANS

A pietistic mendicant sect, also called Euchites, whose name means "praying people." Originating in the fourth century in Mesopotamia, they were condemned by the Council of Ephesus in 431 but survived to the seventh century. They held that, because of Adam's sin, everyone has a devil substantially united to his soul. This demon is partially expelled at baptism, and can be completely driven out only be ceaseless prayer and asceticism. Proof of complete deliverance is the elimination of all passions and evil desires. Those who reach this state enjoy a vision of the Trinity already in this life.

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

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