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VACANCY -- A term applied to an office or position devoid of an incumbent, as a vacant benefice, bishopric, or parish
VAGABOND (WANDERER) -- A fugitive or wanderer. Cain's curse for murdering his brother Abel was life as a fugitive. Gen 4:12 The Vagabond Jews Acts 19:13
VALE OF SIDDIM -- Near the Dead Sea where Sodom and Gomorrah were located was a valley of tar pits Gen 14:2-10
VALELNTINIAN I -- Emperor of the West (321-375)
VALEN, FLAVINS -- Emperor of the East (328-378)
VALENTINE, POPE -- Reigned briefly in A.D. 827
VALENTINE, SAINT -- At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February
VALENTINUS AND VALENTINIANS -- The best known and most influential of the Gnostic heretics, born on the coast of Egypt
VALERIAN --Biography of the Roman ruler, focusing on his treatment of Christians
VALIDATION OF MARRIAGE --May be effected by a simple renewal of consent when its nullity arises only from a defective consent in one or both parties
VALLA, LORENZO --Article by U. Benigni on the teachings of this Italian humanist
VALLEY OF DRY BONES -- Ezekiel's vision where Ezekiel addressed the bones, which represent Israel's exile in a foreign land, they came to life by God's Spirit. God was giving him assurance that His people would return one day to their native land Ezek 37:1-14
VALLUMBROSAN ORDER -- Founded by St. John Gualbert, son of the noble Florentine Gualbert Visdomini
VAN BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG -- Composer (1770-1827)
VAN CLEEF, JAN -- Flemish painter (1646-1716)
VAN EYCK, HUBERT AND JAN --Brothers, Flemish illuminators and painters, founders of the school of Bruges and consequently of all the schools of painting in the North of Europe
VANDALS --A Germanic people belonging to the family of East Germans
VANITY -- Futility and emptiness. Life is empty and vain unless it is lived in obedience to God and His will Ecc 12:13
VASARI, GIORGIO -- Painter, architect, and writer (1511-1574)
VASE, ALTAR -- Vase to hold flowers for the decoration of the altar
VASHTI -- The queen of Ahasuerus of Persia, Vashti fell from Ahasuerus (Xerxes) favor for refusing the king's command to appear with the royal court and was replaced by Esther as queen of Persia Esther 1:9 - 2:2, 15-17
VATICAN AS A SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION -- Details of scientific activity in the Vatican
VATICAN COUNCIL -- The twentieth and up to 1912, the last ecumenical council, opened on 8 December, 1869, and adjourned on 20 October, 1870
VATICAN OBSERVATORY -- Gregory XIII ordered a tower to be erected in a convenient part of the Vatican buildings, and to be fitted out with the greatest and best instruments of the time
VATICAN, THE -- Detailed history and information
VATICANUS, CODEX -- A quarto volume written in uncial letters of the fourth century
VAU -- Used as a heading over Ps 119:41-48 The sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
VEDAS -- Sacred books of ancient India
VEIL, HUMERAL -- The name given to a cloth of rectangular shape about 8 feet long and 18 inches wide
VEIL, RELIGOUS -- The bride of Christ, as the vestal virgins had done, adopted the veil, which thus symbolized not so much the purity as the inviolable fidelity to Christ which was to be reverenced in her
VELAZQUEZ, DIEGO RODRIGUEZ DE SILVA Y -- Artist's biography by Louis Gillet
VENEZUELA --A republic formed out of the provinces which, under Spanish rule, constituted the captaincy general of the same name
Veni Creator Spiritus - The most famous of hymns, assigned in the Roman Breviary to Vespers (I and II) and Terce of Pentecost and throughout the octave
Veni Sancte Spiritus Et Emitte Coelitus - Sung at Mass from Whitsunday until the following Saturday inclusively, and comprises ten stanzas
Venice - The capital of a province in Northern Italy, is formed of a group of 117 small islands joined together by 378 bridges mostly built of stone
VENISON (GAME) -- Using the flesh for food of any wild animal. Esau was a cunning hunter Gen 25:27-28
VENOM (POISON) -- Secreted by animals such as snakes and scorpions a poisonous fluid. The word is also used figuratively of the destructive power of win Deut 32:33
Verbiest, Ferdinand - Jesuit missionary and astronomer (1623-1688)
Verdi, Giuseppe - Italian composer (1813-1901)
VERMILION -- A substance which was bright red used for ornamentation and painting of houses and images Ezek 23:14
Verne, Jules - Novelist (1828-1905)
Veronica Giuliani, Saint - Short biographical article on this Capuchin, who died in 1727
Veronica, Saint - Veronica is a name popularly given to one of the women who accompanied Christ to Calvary. 'Veronica' is an abbreviation of 'vera icon' (true image), and the woman now called Veronica is said to have offered a towel to Christ, on which he left the imprint of his face
Verrazano, Giovanni da - Navigator, died 1527
Verrocchio, Andrea del - Artist (1435-1488)
Versions of the Bible - Article on versions of the Bible in the original languages and in translation. Grouped by source
Versions of the Bible, Coptic - At least parts of Scripture were translated into all four dialects of the Coptic language, though there is some debate about which of the Coptic versions is oldest
Vesalius, Andreas - The reorganizer of the study of anatomy
Vespasian - Biography of the Roman Emperor
Vespers - Historical article on Evening Prayer, one of the two principal canonical hours
Vespers, Music of - Applies especially to the cathedral Office, i.e., the Liturgy of the Hours in a parish setting
Vespers, Sicilian - The traditional name given to the insurrection which broke out at Palermo on Easter Tuesday, 31 March, 1282, against the domination of Charles of Anjou
Vespucci, Amerigo - Biographical article on the Italian navigator (1451-1512)
Vessels, Altar - The chalice is the cup in which the wine and water of the Eucharistic Sacrifice is contained
Vestibule (in Architecture) - A hall projecting in front of the facade of a church, found from the fifth century both in the East and the West
Vestments - According to the rules of the Church or from ecclesiastical usage, are to be worn by the clergy in performing the ceremonies of the services of the Church
Veto, The Royal - Lord Grenville presented a petition for the Catholics in the Lords, and, in moving for a committee, proposed an effective veto for the king on the appointment of bishops
Vexilla Regis Prodeunt - Written by Venantius Fortunatus
Via Crucis - Historical background on this devotion
Via Dolorosa - Historical background on this devotion
VIA DOLOROSA -- This name does not appear in the bible, but it is the name meaning "way of sorrow" for the traditional route which Jesus took form Pilate's judgment hall to Calvary for His crucifixion. The Romans in A.D 70 destroyed Jerusalem which was then rebuilt so it is impossible to determine the precise route.
VIAL (FLASK) -- A container, bottle, or flash used to hold oil or other liquids 1st Sam 10:1
Vianney, Saint Jean-Baptiste-Marie - The Cure of Ars, d. 1869
Viaticum - Among the ancient Greeks the custom prevailed of giving a supper to those setting out on a journey
Vicar - In canon law, the representative of a person clothed with ordinary ecclesiastical jurisdiction
Vicar Apostolic - In the early ages of the Church, the popes committed to some residentiary bishops the duty of watching over ecclesiastical matters in a certain region
Vicar of Christ - A title of the pope implying his supreme and universal primacy, both of honour and of jurisdiction, over the Church of Christ
Vicar-General - The highest official of a diocese after the ordinary
Vice - Regarded as a habit inclining one to sin
Victimae Paschali Laudes Immolent Christiani - First stanza of the Easter sequence
Victor I, Pope Saint - Article on the late second-century pope, involved in the Quartodeciman controversy
Victor II, Pope - Reigned 1055-57
Victor III, Pope Blessed - Benedictine monk, peacemaker, abbot of Monte Cassino, elected to the papacy in 1086, d. 1087
Victor IV - Cardinal Gregory Conti, elected in opposition to Innocent II
Vienna - The capital of Austria-Hungary, the residence of the emperor, and the seat of a Latin archbishopric
Vienne, Council of - Convened 1311-1312, dealing mainly with the Knights Templar
Vigilius, Pope - Reigned 537-55
Vikings - The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western Europe and its islands and then turned from raiding into settlers.
VILLAGE -- A small town or a collection of houses not protected by a defensive wall Ezek 38:11
Vincent de Paul, Saint - Biography of the French priest, founder of the Congregation of the Mission, who died in 1660
Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Charity of Saint - A congregation of women with simple vows, founded in 1633 and devoted to corporal and spiritual works of mercy
Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Charity of Saint (New York) - Motherhouse at Mt. St. Vincent-on Hudson, New York; not to be confused with the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul founded earlier
Vincent de Paul, Society of Saint - International association of Catholic laymen engaging in personal service of the poor
Vincent Ferrer, Saint - Biography of this Spanish-born Dominican missionary, who died in 1419
Vincent of Lérins, Saint - Essay on the fifth-century monk and ecclesiastical writer
Vincent, Saint - Essay on the deacon, a native of Saragossa, martyred in 304
Vincentians - A congregation of secular priests with religious vows founded by St. Vincent de Paul
Vinci, Leonardo di Ser Piero da - Florentine painter, sculptor, architect, engineer and scholar (1452-1519)
VINE -- A plant which bore grapes and the word is also used figuratively of Israel Hos 10:1 In John 15:1 Jesus referred to Himself as the "true vine"
VINE OF SODOM -- It grew near the Dead Sea and produced a beautiful fruit that was unfit to eat, A plant, It is a fitting description used of Israel's idolatry Deut 32:32
VINEGAR (SOUR WINE) A drink or beverage consisting of a strong drink or wine that turned sour after being excessively fermented. Jesus on the cross was offered this drink. Matt 27:34
VINEYARD -- An orchard or field of grapevines. The word is also used symbolically for Israel Ps 80:8 , 15-16
VINTAGE -- The time of year where grapes were ripe and was the time for making wine. Shouts of joy as the grapes were gathered Jer 25:30 placed in baskets and carried to the wine-press Jer 6:9
VIOL (LYRE) -- Probably similar to the psaltery but a stringed musical instrument. Isa 5:12
Violence - The stimulus or moving cause must come from without; no one can do violence to himself
VIRGIN -- A term generally used for a young unmarried woman. Gen 24:16
VIRGIN BIRTH -- The Virgin Mary's miraculous conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit. The Prophet Isaiah foretold this event Isa 7:14 Revealed to Mary by an angel Luke 1:26-33
Virgin Birth of Christ - The dogma which teaches that the Blessed Mother of Jesus Christ was a virgin before, during, and after the conception and birth of her Divine Son
Virgin Mary, Devotion to the - Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints
Virgin Mary, Name of - The Hebrew form of her name is Miryam
Virgin Mary, The - The Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God
Virginity - Morally, virginity signifies the reverence for bodily integrity which is suggested by a virtuous motive
VIRTUE -- A characteristic of Jesus Luke 6:19 a Moral excellence in association with ability and power.
Virtue - According to its etymology the word virtue (Latin virtus) signifies manliness or courage
Virtue, Heroic - St. Augustine first applied the pagan title of hero to the Christian martyrs
Visigoths - One of the two principal branches of the Goths
Visions - The article deals not with natural but with supernatural visions, that is, visions due to the direct intervention of a power superior to man
Visit ad Limina - The obligation incumbent on certain members of the hierarchy of visiting, the 'thresholds of the Apostles', Sts. Peter and Paul, and of presenting themselves before the pope to give an account of the state of their dioceses
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Article on the event and the feast
Visitation Order - The nuns of the Visitation of Mary, called also Filles de Sainte-Marie, Visitandines, and Salesian Sisters, were founded in 1610
Visitation, Canonical - The act of an ecclesiastical superior who in the discharge of his office visits persons or places with a view of maintaining faith and discipline, and of correcting abuses by the application of proper remedies
Visitors Apostolic - Officials whom canonists commonly class with papal legates
Visits to the Blessed Sacrament - A devotional practice of relatively modern development, honoring the Real Presence of Christ
Vitalian, Pope Saint - He tried to win over the Monothelites who then held sway in Constantinople, and was the reigning pope at the time of the Synod of Whitby. He died in 672
Vitellius, Lucius - Proclaimed Roman Emperor by the soldiers at Cologne during the civil war of A.D. 69; d. at Rome, 21 Dec., 69
Vivarini - A family of Italian painters. Alvise, Antonio, and Bartolommeo (Bartolommeo da Murano)
Vives, Juan Luis - Article on his life and works, by Paul Lejay
Vivisection - Defined literally the word vivisection signifies the dissection of living creatures
Vladimir the Great, Saint - Biography of the grandson of St. Olga. Grand Duke of Kiev and All Russia, first ruler of Russia to convert to Christianity, d. 1015
VOCATION (CALLING) -- Based on God's grace and purpose a calling II Tim 1:9 Paul wanted believers to "Walk worthy" of their Christian vocation Eph 4:1
Vocation, Ecclesiastical and Religious - The special gift of those who, in the Church of God, follow with a pure intention the ecclesiastical profession of the evangelical counsels
VOID (EMPTY) -- Empty, containing nothing, as the earth was formless and void before God filled it with life through His creative power Gen 1:2
Volta, Alessandro - Physicist (1745-1827)
Volterra, Daniele da - Italian painter (1509-1566)
Voluntarism - In the modern metaphysical sense is a theory which explains the universe as emanating ultimately from some form of will
Voluntary - Wilful, proceeding from the will
Voluntary Association, Right of - Any group of individuals freely united for the pursuit of a common end
Völuspá - A wise woman
Votive Mass - A Mass offered for a votum, a special intention
Votive Offerings - The general name given to those things vowed or dedicated to God, or a saint, and in consequence looked upon as set apart by this act of consecration
Votive Offices - One not entered in the general calendar, but adopted with a view to satisfying a special devotion
VOW -- Asking for some expected benefit for giving a pledge or agreement to perform a service for God Gen 28:20-22
VOW OFFERING -- When making a vow to the Lord a gift or freewill offering which accompanied it. Deut 23:23
Vows - A promise made to God
Vulgate, Revision of - In the spring of 1907 the public press announced that Pius X had determined to begin preparations for a critical revision of the Latin Bible
VULTURE (RED KITE, BUZZARD -- A large bird that was considered unclean becasue it feeds mostly on dead animals or other wastes. Lev 11:14