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Catholic Dictionary




The reception of Holy Communion when there is probable danger of death. Viaticum should not be deferred too long in sickness lest the dying lose consciousness. It can be given as often as such danger exists, and is required of all the faithful who have reached the age of discretion. No laws of fasting persist either for the recipient or for the priest who must consecrate in order to supply the Host in an emergency. (Etym. Latin viaticum, traveling provisions; from viaticus, of a road or journey, from via, way, road.)