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

SEAL

A design impressed on wax or similar material. At first a seal was used for securing a document, but later it was attached to a document's face as a sign of validity. When authority passed to new hands, the old seal was destroyed an a new one made. This is why the Fisherman's ring, or papal seal, is immediately broken by the Cardinal Carmerlengo when the Pope dies. (Etym. Latin sigillum, seal, diminutive of signum, sign.)

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

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days