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7/23/2019 Thomas Aquinas- The Apostles Creed http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/thomas-aquinas-the-apostles-creed 1/93 Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum THE APOSTLES' CREED by Thomas Aquinas translated by Joseph B. Collins New York, 1939 Edited and Html-formated by Joseph Kenny, O.P. CONTENTS PROLOGUE: What is faith? 1. I believe in God, the Father the almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. 2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary 4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. 5. He descended to the underworld, the third day he rose again 6. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 8. I believe in the Holy Spirit, 9. the holy catholic Church, 10. the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, 11. the resurrection of the body 12. and life everlasting. Prooemium PROLOGUE What Is Faith?

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Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum



Thomas Aquinas

translated by Joseph B. Collins

New York, 1939

Edited and Html-formated by Joseph Kenny, O.P.


PROLOGUE: What is faith?

1. I believe in God, the Father the almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary

4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

5. He descended to the underworld, the third day he rose again

6. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,

9. the holy catholic Church,

10. the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

11. the resurrection of the body

12. and life everlasting.

Prooemium PROLOGUE

What Is Faith?

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Primum quod est necessarium

Christiano, est fides, sine qua

nullus dicitur fidelis Christianus.

Fides autem facit quatuor bona.

Primum est quod per fidem anima

coniungitur Deo: nam per fidem

anima Christiana facit quasiquoddam matrimonium cum Deo:

Oseae II, 20: sponsabo te mihi in 

fide . Et inde est quod quando

homo baptizatur, primo confitetur

fidem, cum dicitur ei, credis in 

Deum? : Quia Baptismus est

primum sacramentum fidei. Et

ideo dicit dominus, Marc. ult., 16:

qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit,

salvus erit . Baptismus enim sine

fide non prodest. Et ideo

sciendum est, quod nullus est

acceptus Deo sine fide: Hebr. XI,

6: sine fide autem impossibile est 

placere Deo . Et ideo dicit

Augustinus super illud Rom. XIV,

23: omne autem quod non est ex 

fide, peccatum est: ubi non est 

aeternae et incommutabilis veritatis agnitio, falsa est virtus 

etiam in optimis moribus .

The Nature and Effects of Faith.—The first

thing that is necessary for every Christian is

faith, without which no one is truly called a

faithful Christian. Faith brings about four

good effects. The first is that through faith

the soul is united to God, and by it there is

between the soul and God a union akin tomarriage. “I will espouse you in faith”

[Hosea 2:20]. When a man is baptized the

first question that is asked him is: “Do you

believe in God?” This is because Baptism

is the first Sacrament of faith. Hence, the

Lord said: “He who believes and is

baptized shall be saved” [Mk

16:16].Baptism without faith is of no value.

Indeed, it must be known that no one is

acceptable before God unless he have

faith. “Without faith it is impossible to

please God”[Heb 11:6]. St. Augustine

explains these words of St. Paul, “All that is

not of faith is sin” [Rom 14:23], in this way:

“Where there is no knowledge of the eternal

and unchanging Truth, virtue even in the

midst of the best moral life is false.”

Secundo, quia per fidem

inchoatur in nobis vita aeterna:

nam vita aeterna nihil aliud est

quam cognoscere Deum: unde

dicit dominus, Ioan. XVII, 3: haec 

est vita aeterna, ut cognoscant te solum verum Deum . Haec autem

cognitio Dei incipit hic per fidem,

sed perficitur in vita futura, in qua

cognoscemus eum sicuti est: et

ideo dicitur Hebr. XI, 1: fides est 

substantia sperandarum rerum .

Nullus ergo potest pervenire ad

beatitudinem, quae est vera

cognitio Dei, nisi primo cognoscatper fidem: Ioan. XX, 29: beati qui 

non viderunt et crediderunt .

The second effect of faith is that eternal life

is already begun in us; for eternal life is

nothing else than knowing God. This the

Lord announced when He said: “This is

eternal life, that they may know you, the

only true God, and Jesus Christ whom yousent.” [Jn 17:3].This knowledge of God

begins here through faith, but it is perfected

the future life when we shall know God as

He is. Therefore, St. Paul says: “Faith is the

substance of things to be hoped for” [Heb

11:1].No one then can arrive at perfect

happiness of heaven, which is the true

knowledge of God, unless first he knows

God through faith. “Blessed are they whohave not seen and have believed” [Jn


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Tertio, quia fides dirigit vitam

praesentem: nam ad hoc quod

homo bene vivat, oportet quod

sciat necessaria ad bene

vivendum: et si deberet omnia

necessaria ad bene vivendum per

studium addiscere: vel non possetpervenire, vel post longum

tempus. Fides autem docet omnia

necessaria ad bene vivendum.

Ipsa enim docet quod est unus

Deus, qui est remunerator

bonorum et punitor malorum; et

quod est alia vita, et huiusmodi:

quibus satis allicimur ad bonum,

et vitamus malum: Habac. II, 4:

iustus meus ex fide vivit . Et hoc

patet, quia nullus philosophorum

ante adventum Christi cum toto

conatu suo potuit tantum scire de

Deo et de necessariis ad vitam

aeternam, quantum post

adventum Christi scit una vetula

per fidem: et ideo dicitur Isai. XI, 9:

repleta est terra scientia domini .

The third good that comes from faith is that

right direction which it gives to our present

life. Now, in order that one live a good life, it

is necessary that he know what is

necessary to live rightly; and if he depends

for all this required knowledge on his own

efforts alone, either he will never attainsuch knowledge, or if so, only after a long

time. But faith teaches us all that is

necessary to live a good life. It teaches us

that there is one God who is the rewarder of

good and the punisher of evil; that there is a

life other than this one, and other like truths

whereby we are attracted to live rightly and

to avoid what evil. “The just man lives by

faith”[Hab 2:4]. This is evident in that no

one of the philosophers before the coming

of Christ could, through his own powers,

know God and the means necessary for

salvation as well as any old woman since

Christ’s coming knows Him through faith.

And, therefore, it is said in Isaiah that “the

earth is filled with the knowledge of the

Lord” [11:9].

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Quarto, quia fides est qua

vincimus tentationes: Hebr. XI, 33:

sancti per fidem vicerunt regna . Et

hoc patet, quia omnis tentatio vel

est a Diabolo, vel a mundo, vel a

carne. Diabolus enim tentat ut non

obedias Deo nec subiiciaris ei. Ethoc per fidem removetur. Nam per

fidem cognoscimus quod ipse est

dominus omnium, et ideo sibi est

obediendum: I Petr. V, 8:

adversarius vester Diabolus 

circuit quaerens quem devoret: 

cui resistite fortes in fide . Mundus

autem tentat vel alliciendo

prosperis, vel terrendo adversis.

Sed haec vincimus per fidem,

quae facit nos credere aliam vitam

meliorem ista: et ideo prospera

mundi huius despicimus, et non

formidamus adversa: I Ioan. V, 4:

haec est victoria quae vincit 

mundum, fides nostra : et etiam

quia docet nos credere alia

maiora mala, scilicet Inferni. Caro

vero tentat inducendo nos addelectationes vitae praesentis

momentaneas. Sed fides ostendit

nobis quod per has, si eis indebite

adhaeremus, aeternas

delectationes amittimus: Ephes.

VI, 16: in omnibus sumentes 

scutum fidei . Sic ergo patet quod

multum est utile habere fidem.

The fourth effect of faith is that by it we

overcome temptations: “The holy ones by

faith conquered kingdoms” [Heb 11:33]. We

know that every temptation is either from

the world or the flesh or the devil. The devil

would have us disobey God and not be

subject to Him. This is removed by faith,since through it we know that He is the Lord

of all things and must therefore be obeyed.

“Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,

goes about seeking whom he may devour.

Resist him, strong in faith” [1 Pet 5:8].The

world tempts us either by attaching us to it

in prosperity, or by filling us with fear of

adversity. But faith overcomes this in that

we believe in a life to come better than this

one, and hence we despise the riches of

this world and we are not terrified in the

face of adversity. “This is the victory which

overcomes the world: our faith” [1 Jn

5:4].The flesh, however, tempts us by

attracting us to the swiftly passing

pleasures of this present life. But faith

shows us that, if we cling to these things

inordinately, we shall lose eternal joys. “In

all things taking the shield of faith” [Eph6:16].We see from this that it is very

necessary to have faith.

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Sed dicit aliquis: stultum est

credere quod non videtur, nec

sunt credenda quae non videntur.

Respondeo. Dicendum, quod hoc

dubium primo tollit imperfectio

intellectus nostri: nam si homo

posset perfecte per secognoscere omnia visibilia et

invisibilia, stultum esset credere

quae non videmus; sed cognitio

nostra est adeo debilis quod

nullus philosophus potuit unquam

perfecte investigare naturam

unius muscae: unde legitur, quod

unus philosophus fuit triginta

annis in solitudine, ut cognosceret

naturam apis. Si ergo intellectus

noster est ita debilis, nonne

stultum est nolle credere de Deo,

nisi illa tantum quae homo potest

cognoscere per se? Et ideo contra

hoc dicitur Iob XXXVI, 26: ecce 

Deus magnus, vincens scientiam 

nostram . Secundo potest

responderi, quia dato quod aliquis

magister aliquid diceret in suascientia, et aliquis rusticus diceret

non esse sicut magister doceret,

eo quod ipse non intelligeret,

multum reputaretur stultus ille

rusticus. Constat autem quod

intellectus Angeli excedit magis

intellectum optimi philosophi,

quam intellectus optimi philosophi

intellectum rustici. Et ideo stultusest philosophus si nolit credere ea

quae Angeli dicunt; et multo

magis si nolit credere ea quae

Deus dicit. Et contra hoc dicitur

Eccli. III, 25: plurima supra 

sensum hominum ostensa sunt 

tibi .

“The Evidence of Things that Appear

Not.”—But someone will say that it is

foolish to believe what is not seen, and that

one should not believe in things that he

cannot see. I answer by saying that the

imperfect nature of our intellect takes away

the basis of this difficulty. For if man ofhimself could in a perfect manner know all

things visible and invisible, it would indeed

be foolish to believe what he does not see.

But our manner of knowing is so weak that

no philosopher could perfectly investigate

the nature of even one little fly. We even

read that a certain philosopher spent thirty

years in solitude in order to know the nature

of the bee. If, therefore, our intellect is so

weak, it is foolish to be willing to believe

concerning God only that which man can

know by himself alone. And against this is

the word of Job: “Behold, God is great,

exceeding our knowledge” [Job 36:26]. One

can also answer this question by

supposing that a certain master had said

something concerning his own special

branch of knowledge, and some

uneducated person would contradict himfor no other reason than that he could not

understand what the master said! Such a

person would be considered very foolish.

So, the intellect of the Angels as greatly

exceeds the intellect of the greatest

philosopher as much as that of the greatest

philosopher exceeds the intellect of the

uneducated man. Therefore, the

philosopher is foolish if he refuses tobelieve what an Angel says, and far greater

fool to refuse to believe what God says.

Against such are these words: “For many

things are shown to you above the

understanding of men” [Sir 3:25].

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Tertio responderi potest, quia si

homo nollet credere nisi ea quae

cognosceret, certe non posset

vivere in hoc mundo. Quomodo

enim aliquis vivere posset nisi

crederet alicui? Quomodo etiam

crederet quod talis esset patersuus? Et ideo est necesse quod

homo credat alicui de iis quae

perfecte non potest scire per se.

Sed nulli est credendum sicut

Deo: et ideo illi qui non credunt

dictis fidei, non sunt sapientes,

sed stulti et superbi, sicut dicit

apostolus I ad Tim. VI, 4:

superbus est, nihil sciens .

Propterea dicebat II Tim. I, 12:

scio cui credidi et certus sum .

Eccli. II, 8: qui timetis Deum,

credite illi . Quare potest etiam

responderi, quia Deus probat

quod ea quae docet fides, sunt

vera. Si enim rex mitteret litteras

cum sigillo suo sigillatas, nullus

auderet dicere quod illae litterae

non processissent de regisvoluntate. Constat autem quod

omnia quae sancti crediderunt et

tradiderunt nobis de fide Christi,

signata sunt sigillo Dei: quod

sigillum ostendunt illa opera quae

nulla pura creatura facere potest:

et haec sunt miracula, quibus

Christus confirmavit dicta

apostolorum et sanctorum.

Then, again, if one were willing to believe

only those things which one knows with

certitude, one could not live in this world.

How could one live unless one believed

others? How could one know that this man

is one’s own father? Therefore, it is

necessary that one believe others inmatters which one cannot know perfectly

for oneself. But no one is so worthy of belief

as is God, and hence they who do not

believe the words of faith are not wise, but

foolish and proud. As the Apostle says: “He

is proud, knowing nothing” [1 Tim 6:4].And

also: “I know whom I have believed; and I

am certain” [2 Tim 1:12].And it is written:

“You who fear the Lord, believe Him and

your reward shall not be made void” [Sir

2:8].Finally, one can say also that God

proves the truth of the things which faith

teaches. Thus, if a king sends letters

signed with his seal, no one would dare to

say that those letters did not represent the

will of the king. In like manner, everything

that the Saints believed and handed down

to us concerning the faith of Christ is signed

with the seal of God. This seal consists ofthose works which no mere creature could

accomplish; they are the miracles by which

Christ confirmed the sayings of the apostles

and of the Saints.

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Si dicas, quod miracula nullus

vidit fieri: respondeo ad hoc.

Constat enim quod totus mundus

colebat idola, et fidem Christi

persequebatur, sicut Paganorum

etiam historiae tradunt; sed modo

omnes conversi sunt ad Christum,et sapientes et nobiles et divites

et potentes et magni ad

praedicationem simplicium et

pauperum et paucorum

praedicantium Christum. Aut ergo

hoc est miraculose factum, aut

non. Si miraculose, habes

propositum. Si non, dico quod non

potuit esse maius miraculum

quam quod mundus totus sine

miraculis converteretur. Non ergo

quaerimus aliud. Sic ergo nullus

debet dubitare de fide, sed

credere ea quae fidei sunt magis

quam ea quae videt: quia visus

hominis potest decipi, sed Dei

scientia nunquam fallitur.

If, however, you would say that no one has

witnessed these miracles, I would reply in

this manner. It is a fact that the entire world

worshipped idols and that the faith of Christ

was persecuted, as the histories of the

pagans also testify. But now all are turned

to Christ—wise men and noble and rich—converted by the words of the poor and

simple preachers of Christ. Now, this fact

was either miracle or it was not. If it is

miraculous, you have what you asked for, a

visible fact; if it is not, then there could not

be a greater miracle than that the whole

world should have been converted without

miracles. And we need go no further. We

are more certain, therefore, in believing the

things of faith than those things which can

be seen, because God’s knowledge never

deceives us, but the visible sense of man is

often in error.


Credo in Deum Patrem

omnipotentem, Creatorem

caeli et terrae.

“I Believe in One God, the

Father the Almighty, Maker

of Heaven and Earth.”

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Inter omnia quae debent credere

fideles, hoc est primum quod debent

credere, scilicet quod sit unus Deus.

Considerandum autem, quid

significet hoc nomen Deus: quod

quidem nihil est aliud quam

gubernator et provisor rerum omnium.Ille igitur credit Deum esse qui credit

omnes res mundi huius gubernari et

provideri ab illo. Qui autem credit

quod omnia proveniant a casu, hic

non credit Deum esse. Nullus autem

invenitur adeo stultus qui non credat

quod res naturales gubernentur,

provideantur, et disponantur; cum in

quodam ordine et certis temporibus

procedant. Videmus enim solem et

lunam et stellas, et alias res naturales

omnes servare determinatum cursum;

quod non contingeret, si a casu

essent: unde si aliquis esset qui non

crederet Deum esse, stultus esset.

Psal. XIII, 1: dixit insipiens in corde 

suo: non est Deus .

Among all the truths which the faithful

must believe, this is the first— that there

is one God. We must see that God

means the ruler and provider of all

things. He, therefore, believes in God

who believes that everything in this

world is governed and provided for byHim. He who would believe that all

things come into being by chance does

not believe that there is a God. No one

is so foolish as to deny that all nature,

which operates with a certain definite

time and order, is subject to the rule and

foresight and an orderly arrangement of

someone. We see how the sun, the

moon, and the stars, and all natural

things follow a determined course,

which would be impossible if they were

merely products of chance. Hence, as is

spoken of in the Psalm, he is indeed

foolish who does not believe in God:

“The fool said in his heart: There is no

God” [Ps 13:1].

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Sunt autem aliqui qui licet credant

Deum gubernare et disponere res

naturales, non tamen credunt Deum

esse humanorum actuum provisorem;

qui scilicet credunt actus humanos

non disponi a Deo. Cuius ratio est,

quia vident in mundo isto bonosaffligi, et malos prosperari: quod

videtur tollere providentiam divinam

circa homines: unde in persona

eorum dicitur Iob XXII, 14: circa 

cardines caeli perambulat, nec nostra 

considerat . Hoc autem est valde

stultum. Nam istis accidit, sicut si

aliquis nesciens medicinam, videret

medicum propinantem uni infirmo

aquam, alteri vinum, secundum

scilicet quod ars medicinae dictat:

crederet quod hoc fiat a casu, cum

nesciat artem medicinae, quae ex

iusta causa hoc facit, scilicet quod isti

dat vinum, illi vero aquam. Sic est de

Deo. Deus enim ex iusta causa et

sua providentia disponit ea quae sunt

hominibus necessaria; et sic

quosdam bonos affligit, et quosdammalos in prosperitate dimittit. Unde

qui credit hoc provenire a casu, est et

reputatur insipiens: quia non contingit

hoc, nisi quia nescit artem et causam

dispositionis divinae. Iob XI, 6: ut 

ostenderet tibi secreta sapientiae, et 

quod multiplex esset lex eius .

There are those, however, who believe

that God rules and sustains all things of

nature, and nevertheless do not believe

God is the overseer of the acts of man;

hence they believe that human acts do

not come under God’s providence. They

reason thus because they see in thisworld how the good are afflicted and

how the evil enjoy good things, so that

Divine Providence seems to disregard

human affairs. Hence the words of Job

are offered to apply to this view: “He

does not consider our things; and He

walks about the poles of heaven”

[22:14]. But this is indeed absurd. It is

 just as though a person who is ignorant

of medicine should see a doctor give

water to one patient and wine to

another. He would believe that this is

mere chance, since he does not

understand the science of medicine

which for good reasons prescribes for

one wine and for another water. So is it

with God. For God in His just and wise

Providence knows what is good and

necessary for men; and hence Heafflicts some who are good and allows

certain wicked men to prosper. But he is

foolish indeed who believes this is due

to chance, because he does not know

the causes and method of God’s

dealing with men. “I wish that God might

speak with you, and would open His

lips to you, that He might show you the

secrets of wisdom, and that His law ismanifold: and you might understand that

He exacts much less of you than your

iniquity deserves” [Job 11:5-6].

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Et ideo firmiter credendum est, quod

Deus gubernat et disponit non solum

res naturales, sed etiam actus

humanos. Psal. XCIII, 7, 8 et 9: et 

dixerunt, non videbit dominus, nec 

intelliget Deus Iacob. Intelligite 

insipientes in populo, et stulti aliquando sapite. Qui plantavit 

aurem, non audiet; aut qui finxit 

oculum, non considerat?   (...) V. 10.

Dominus scit cogitationes hominum .

Omnia ergo videt, et cogitationes, et

occulta voluntatis. Unde et hominibus

specialiter imponitur necessitas bene

faciendi, quia omnia quae cogitant et

faciunt, divino conspectui sunt

manifesta, apostolus Hebr. IV, 13:

omnia nuda sunt et aperta oculis 

eius .

We must, therefore, firmly believe that

God governs and regulates not only all

nature, but also the actions of men. “And

they said: The Lord shall not see;

neither shall the God of Jacob

understand. Understand, ye senseless

among the people, and, you fools, bewise at last. He who planted the ear,

shall He not hear, He who formed the

eye, does He not consider?... The Lord

knows the thoughts of men” [Ps 93:7-

11]. God sees all things, both our

thoughts and the hidden desires of our

will. Thus, the necessity of doing good

is especially imposed on man since all

his thoughts, words and actions are

known in the sight of God: “All things

are naked and open to His eyes” [Heb


Est autem credendum, quod hic Deus

qui omnia disponit et regit, sit unus

Deus tantum. Cuius ratio est, quia illa

dispositio rerum humanarum est

bene disposita, in qua multitudo

invenitur disponi et gubernari per

unum. Nam multitudo praesidentium

inducit saepe dissensionem in

subditis: unde cum divinum regimen

praeeminet regimini humano,

manifestum est quod regnum mundi

non est per multos deos, sed per

unum tantum.

We believe that God who rules and

regulates all things is but one God. This

is seen in that wherever the regulation

of human affairs is well arranged, there

the group is found to be ruled and

provided for by one, not many. For a

number of heads often brings

dissension in their subjects. But since

divine government exceeds in every

way that which is merely human, it is

evident that the government of the world

is not by many gods, but by one only.

Motives for believing in many gods

Sunt autem quatuor, ex quibus

homines inducti sunt ad ponendum

plures deos. Primum est imbecillitas

intellectus humani.

There are four motives which have led

men to believe in a number of gods:

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Nam homines imbecillis intellectus

non valentes corporalia

transcendere, non crediderunt aliquid

esse ultra naturam corporum

sensibilium; et ideo inter corpora illa

posuerunt praeeminere et disponere

mundum, quae pulchriora et digniorainter ea videbantur, et eis attribuebant

et impendebant divinum cultum: et

huiusmodi sunt corpora caelestia,

scilicet sol et luna et stellae. Sed istis

accidit sicut alicui eunti ad curiam

regis, qui volens videre regem, credit

quemcumque bene indutum vel in

officio constitutum, regem esse: de

quibus dicitur Sap. XIII, 2: solem et 

lunam, aut gyrum stellarum rectores 

orbis terrarum deos putaverunt ; Isai.

LI, 6: levate in excelsum oculos 

vestros, et videte sub terra deorsum: 

quia caeli sicut fumus liquescent, et 

terra sicut vestimentum atteretur, et 

habitatores eius sicut haec interibunt; 

salus autem mea in sempiternum erit,

et iustitia mea non deficiet .

(1) The dullness of the human intellect.

Dull men, not capable of going beyond

sensible things, did not believe anything

existed except physical bodies. Hence,

they held that the world is disposed and

ruled by those bodies which to them

seemed most beautiful and mostvaluable in this world. And, accordingly,

to things such as the sun, the moon and

the stars, they attributed and gave a

divine worship. Such men are like to

one who, going to a royal court to see

the king, believes that whoever is

sumptuously dressed or of official

position is the king! “They have

imagined either the sun and moon or

the circle of the stars... to be the gods

that rule the world. With whose beauty,

if they being delighted, took them to be

gods...” [Wis 7:2-3].

Secundo provenit ex adulatione

hominum. Nam aliqui volentes

adulari dominis et regibus, honorem

Deo debitum eis exhibuerunt,

obediendo eis, et subiiciendo se eis:

unde et aliquos post mortem fecerunt

deos, alios etiam in vita dixerunt

deos. Iudith V, 29: sciat omnis gens,

quomodo Nabuchodonosor Deus terrae est, et praeter ipsum alius non 

est .

(2) The second motive was human

adulation. Some men, wishing to fawn

upon kings and rulers, obey and subject

themselves to them and show them

honor which is due to God alone. After

the death of these rulers, sometimes

men make them gods, and sometimes

this is done even whilst they are living.

“That every nation may know thatNabuchodonosor is god of the earth,

and besides him there is no other”

[Judith 5:29].

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Tertio provenit ex carnali affectu ad

filios et consanguineos: nam aliqui

propter nimium amorem quem ad

suos habebant, faciebant statuas

post eorum mortem, et sic ex hoc

processum est quod illis statuis

divinum cultum impendebant: dequibus dicitur Sap. XIV, 21: quoniam 

aut effectui aut regibus deservientes 

homines, incommunicabile nomen 

lapidibus et lignis imposuerunt .

(3) The human affection for sons and

relatives was a third motive. Some,

because of the excessive love which

they had for their family, caused statues

of them to be erected after their death,

and gradually a divine honor was

attached to these statues. “For menserving either their affections or their

kings, gave the incommunicable Name

to stones and wood” [Wis 14:21].

Quarto ex malitia Diaboli. Ipse enim

ab initio voluit aequiparari Deo: unde

ipse ait, Isai. XIV, 13-14: ponam 

sedem meam ab Aquilone, in caelum conscendam, et ero similis altissimo .

Et hanc voluntatem nondum

deposuit; et ideo totus conatus suus

in hoc existit ut faciat se ab

hominibus adorari, et sacrificia sibi

offerri: non quod delectetur in uno

cane vel Cato qui ei offertur, sed

delectatur in hoc quod ei impendatur

reverentia sicut Deo: unde et Christo

dixit, Matth. IV, 9: haec omnia tibi 

dabo, si cadens adoraveris me . Inde

est etiam quod intrantes idola, dabant

responsa, ut scilicet venerarentur ut

dii. Psalm. XCV, 5: omnes dii 

gentium Daemonia ; apostolus, I Cor.

X, 20: sed quae immolant gentes,

Daemoniis immolant, et non Deo .

(4) The last motive is the malice of the

devil. The devil wished from the

beginning to be equal to God, and thus

he said: “I will ascend above the heightof the clouds. I will be like the Most

High” [Is 14:14].The devil still entertains

this desire. His entire purpose is to bring

about that man adore him and offer

sacrifices to him; not that he takes

delight in a dog or cat that is offered to

him, he does relish the fact that thereby

irreverence is shown to God. Thus, he

spoke to Christ: “All these will I give

you, if you fall down and adore me” [Mt

4:9].For this reason those demons who

entered into idols said that they would

be venerated as gods. “All the gods of

the Gentiles are demons” [Ps

105:5].“The things which the heathens

sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not

to God” [1 Cor 10:20].

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Licet autem haec sint horribilia, sunt

tamen aliquando et multi qui

frequenter incidunt in istas quatuor

causas. Et licet non ore aut corde,

tamen factis ostendunt se credere

plures deos. Nam qui credunt quod

corpora caelestia possunt involuntatem hominis imprimere, et qui

in factis suis certa accipiunt tempora,

ii ponunt corpora caelestia esse

deos, et aliis dominari, facientes

astrolabia. Ierem. X, 2: a signis caeli 

nolite metuere quae timent gentes,

quia leges populorum vanae sunt .

Item omnes illi qui obediunt regibus

plusquam Deo, vel in illis in quibus

non debent, constituunt eos deos

suos. Act. V, 29: obedire oportet Deo 

magis quam hominibus . Item illi qui

diligunt filios aut consanguineos

plusquam Deum, ostendunt factis

suis plures esse deos. Vel etiam illi

qui diligunt escam plusquam Deum:

de quibus apostolus Phil. III, 19:

quorum Deus venter est . Item omnes

illi qui insistunt veneficiis etincantationibus, credunt Daemones

esse deos: cuius ratio est, quia petunt

a Daemonibus id quod solus Deus

dare potest, scilicet revelationem

alicuius rei occultae, et veritatem


Although all this is terrible to

contemplate, yet at times there are any

who fall into these above-mentioned

four causes. Not by their words and

hearts, but by their actions, they show

that they believe in many gods. Thus,

those who believe that the celestialbodies influence the will of man and

regulate their affairs by astrology, really

make the heavenly bodies gods, and

subject themselves to them. “Be not

afraid of the signs of heaven which the

heathens fear. For the laws of the

people are vain” [Jer 10:2-3].In the same

category are all those who obey

temporal rulers more than God, in that

which they ought not; such actually set

these up as gods. “We ought to obey

God rather than men” [Acts 5:29]. So

also those who love their sons and

kinsfolk more than God show by their

actions that they believe in many gods;

as likewise do those who love food

more than God: “Whose god is their

belly” [Phil 3:19]. Moreover, all who take

part in magic or in incantations believethat the demons are gods, because they

seek from the devil that which God

alone can give, such as revealing the

future or discovering hidden things. We

must, therefore, believe that there is but

one God.

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Est ergo primo credendum quod

Deus est unus tantum. Sicut dictum

est, primum quod credere debemus,

est quod sit unus solus Deus;

secundum est quod iste Deus sit

creator et factor caeli et terrae,

visibilium et invisibilium. Et utrationes subtiles dimittantur ad

praesens; quodam rudi exemplo

manifestatur propositum, quod

scilicet omnia sunt a Deo creata et

facta. Constat enim quod si aliquis

intraret domum aliquam, et in ipsius

domus introitu sentiret calorem,

postmodum vadens interius sentiret

maiorem calorem, et sic deinceps,

crederet ignem esse interius, etiam si

ipsum ignem non videret qui causaret

dictos calores: sic quoque contingit

consideranti res huius mundi. Nam

ipse invenit res omnes secundum

diversos gradus pulchritudinis et

nobilitatis esse dispositas; et quanto

magis appropinquant Deo, tanto

pulchriora et meliora invenit. Unde

corpora caelestia pulchriora etnobiliora sunt quam corpora inferiora,

et invisibilia visibilibus. Et ideo

credendum est quod omnia haec sunt

ab uno Deo, qui dat suum esse

singulis rebus, et nobilitatem. Sap.

XIII, 1: vani sunt autem omnes 

homines in quibus non subest 

scientia Dei, et de his quae videntur 

bona, non potuerunt intelligere eum qui est, neque operibus attendentes,

agnoverunt quis esset artifex ; et infra,

5 : a magnitudine enim speciei et 

creaturae cognoscibiliter poterit 

creator horum videri . Sic ergo pro

certo debet nobis constare quod

omnia quae sunt in mundo, a Deo


It has been shown that we must first of

all believe there is but one God. Now,

the second is that this God is the

Creator and maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible. Let us

leave more subtle reasons for the

present and show by a simple examplethat all things are created and made by

God. If a person, upon entering a certain

house, should feel-a warmth at the door

of the house, and going within should

feel a greater warmth, and so on the

more he went into its interior, he would

believe that somewhere within was a

fire, even if he did not see the fire itself

which caused this heat which he felt. So

also is it when we consider the things of

this world. For one finds all things

arranged in different degrees of beauty

and worth, and the closer things

approach to God, the more beautiful and

better they are found to be. Thus, the

heavenly bodies are more beautiful and

nobler than those which are below

them; and, likewise, the invisible things

in relation to the visible. Therefore, itmust be seen that all these things

proceed from one God who gives His

being and beauty to each and

everything. “All men are vain, in whom

there is not the knowledge of God: and

who by these good things that are seen

could not understand Him that is.

Neither by attending to the works have

acknowledged who was the workman....For by the greatness of the beauty, and

of the creature, the creator of them may

be seen, so as to be known thereby”

[Wis 13:1,5]. Thus, therefore, it is certain

for us that all things in the world are

from God.


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Circa hoc autem debemus vitare tres

errores. Primus est error

Manichaeorum, qui dicunt quod

omnia visibilia creata sunt a Diabolo;

et ideo Deo solum attribuunt

creationem invisibilium. Et causa

huius erroris est, quia ipsi Deumasserunt summum bonum, sicut et

verum est, et omnia quae a bono

sunt, bona esse: unde nescientes

discernere quid sit malum et quid

bonum, crediderunt quod omnia illa

quae sunt aliqualiter mala, simpliciter

essent mala; sicut ignis, quia urit,

dicitur ab eis simpliciter malus; et

aqua, quia suffocat; et sic de aliis.

Unde, quia nihil istorum sensibilium

est simpliciter bonum, sed aliqualiter

malum et deficiens, dixerunt, quod

visibilia omnia non sunt facta a Deo

bono, sed a malo. Contra hos ponit

Augustinus tale exemplum. Si aliquis

intraret domum fabri, et inveniret

instrumenta ad quae impingeret, et

laederent eum, et ex hoc reputaret

illum fabrum malum, quia tenet taliainstrumenta, stultus esset, cum faber

ea teneat ad opus suum. Ita stultum

est dicere, quod per hoc creaturae

sint malae, quia sunt in aliquo

nocivae; nam quod uni est nocivum,

alteri est utile. Hic autem error est

contra fidem Ecclesiae; et ideo ad

hunc removendum, dicitur: visibilium 

omnium et invisibilium   Gen. I, 1: in principio creavit Deus caelum et 

terram . Ioan. I, 3: omnia per ipsum 

facta sunt .

There are three errors concerning this

truth which we must avoid. First, the

error of the Manicheans, who say that

all visible created things are from the

devil, and only the invisible creation is

to be attributed to God. The cause of

this error is that they hold that God is thehighest good, which is true; but they

also assert that whatsoever comes from

good is itself good. Thus, not

distinguishing what is evil and what is

good, they believed that whatever is

partly evil is essentially evil—as, for

instance, fire because it burns is

essentially evil, and so is water

because it causes suffocation, and so

with other things. Because no sensible

thing is essentially good, but mixed with

evil and defective, they believed that all

visible things are not made by God who

is good, but by the evil one. Against

them St. Augustine gives this

illustration. A certain man entered the

shop of a carpenter and found tools

which, if he should fall against them,

would seriously wound him. Now, if hewould consider the carpenter a bad

workman because he made and used

such tools, it would be stupid of him

indeed. In the same way it is absurd to

say that created things are evil because

they may be harmful; for what is harmful

to one may be useful to another. This

error is contrary to the faith of the

Church, and against it we say: “Of allthings visible and invisible” [Nicene

Creed].“In the beginning God created

heaven and earth” [Gen 1:1]. “All things

were made by Him” [Jn 1:3].

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Secundus est error ponentium

mundum ab aeterno: secundum

quem modum loquitur Petrus dicens

(II Petr. III, 4): ex quo patres 

dormierunt, omnia sic perseverant ab 

initio creaturae . Et isti ducti sunt ad

hanc positionem, quia nescieruntconsiderare principium mundi. Unde,

sicut Rabbi Moyses dicit, istis

contingit sicut puero, qui si statim

cum nascitur, poneretur in insula, et

nunquam videret mulierem

praegnantem, nec puerum nasci; et

diceretur isti puero, quando magnus

esset, qualiter homo concipitur,

portatur in utero, et nascitur; nulli

crederet sibi dicenti, quia impossibile

sibi videretur quod homo posset esse

in utero matris. Sic isti considerantes

statum mundi praesentem, non

credunt quod inceperit. Est etiam hoc

contra fidem Ecclesiae: et ideo ad

hoc removendum dicitur: factorem 

caeli et terrae . Si enim fuerunt facta,

constat quod non semper fuerunt; et

ideo dicitur in Psal. CXLVIII, 5: dixit et facta sunt .

The second error is of those who hold

the world has existed from eternity:

“Since the time that the fathers slept, all

things continue as they were from the

beginning of the creation” [2 Pet

3:4].They are led to this view because

they do not know how to imagine thebeginning of the world. They are, says

Rabbi Moses, in like case to a boy who

immediately upon his birth was placed

upon an island, and remained ignorant

of the manner of child-bearing and of

infants’ birth. thus, when he grew up, if

one should explain all these things to

him, he would not believe how a man

could once have been in his mother’s

womb. So also those who consider the

world as it is now, do not believe that it

had a beginning. This is also contrary to

the faith of the Church, and hence we

say: “the Maker of heaven and earth.”

For if they were made, they did not exist

forever. “He spoke and they were made”

[Ps 148:5 ].

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Tertius est error ponentium Deum

fecisse mundum ex praeiacenti

materia. Et ad hoc ducti sunt, quia

voluerunt metiri potentiam Dei

secundum potentiam nostram: et

ideo, quia homo nihil potest facere

nisi ex praeiacenti materia,crediderunt quod eodem modo et

Deus: unde dixerunt, quod in

productione rerum habuit materiam

praeiacentem. Sed hoc non est

verum. Nam homo ideo nihil potest

facere sine praeiacenti materia, quia

est factor particularis, et non potest

inducere nisi hanc formam in

determinata materia ab aliquo alio

praesupposita. Cuius ratio est, quia

virtus sua est determinata ad formam

tantum; et ideo non potest esse

causa nisi huius. Deus autem est

universalis causa omnium rerum, et

non solum creat formam, sed etiam

materiam; unde et de nihilo omnia

fecit. Et ideo ad removendum hunc

errorem dicitur: creatorem caeli et 

terrae . In hoc enim differunt creare etfacere, quia creare est de nihilo

aliquid facere: facere autem est de

aliquo aliquid facere. Si ergo ex

nihilo fecit, credendum est quod

iterum posset omnia facere, si

destruerentur: unde potest caecum

illuminare, mortuum suscitare, et

cetera opera miraculosa facere. Sap.

XII, 18: subest enim tibi, cum volueris,posse .

The third is the error which holds that

God made the world from pre-existing

matter (ex praejacenti materia ). They

are led to this view because they wish

to measure divine power according to

human power; and since man cannot

make anything except from materialwhich already lies at hand, so also it

must be with God. But this is false. Man

needs matter to make anything,

because he is a builder of particular

things and must bring form out of

definite material. He merely determines

the form of his work, and can be only the

cause of the form that he builds. God,

however, is the universal cause of all

things, and He not only creates the form

but also the matter. Hence, He makes

out of nothing, and thus it is said in the

Creed: “the Creator of heaven and

earth.” We must see in this the

difference between making and

creating. To create is to make

something out of nothing; and if

everything were destroyed, He could

again make all things. He, thus, makesthe blind to see, raises up the dead, and

works other similar miracles. “Your

power is at hand when You will” [Wis



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Ex huiusmodi autem consideratione

homo dirigitur ad quinque. Primo ad

cognitionem divinae maiestatis. Nam

factor praeeminet factis: unde quia

Deus est factor omnium rerum,

constat eum eminentiorem omnibus

rebus. Sap. XIII, 3: quorum si specie delectati deos putaverunt, sciant 

quanto his dominator eorum 

speciosior est  (...) ib. 4: aut si virtutem 

et opera eorum mirati sunt, intelligant 

ab illis quomodo qui haec fecit, fortior 

est illis . Et inde est quod quidquid

potest intelligi vel cogitari, minus est

ipso Deo. Iob XXXVI, 26: ecce Deus 

magnus, vincens scientiam nostram .

From a consideration of all this, one is

led to a fivefold benefit. (1) We are led to

a knowledge of the divine majesty.

Now, if a maker is greater than the

things he makes, then God is greater

than all things which He has made.

“With whose beauty, if they beingdelighted, took them to be gods, let

them know how much the Lord of them

is more beautiful than they... Or if they

admired their power and their effects, let

them understand by them that He that

made them, is mightier than they” [Wis

13:3-4]. Hence, whatsoever can even

be affirmed or thought of is less than

God. “Behold: God is great, exceeding

our knowledge” [Job 36:26].

Secundo ex hoc dirigitur ad gratiarum

actionem: quia enim Deus est creator

omnium rerum, certum est quod

quidquid sumus et quidquid

habemus, a Deo est. Apostolus, I

Cor. IV, 7: quid habes quod non 

accepisti?   Psal. XXIII, 1: domini est 

terra et plenitudo eius, orbis terrarum,

et universi qui habitant in eo . Et ideo

debemus ei reddere gratiarum

actiones: Psal. CXV, 12: quid 

retribuam domino pro omnibus quae 

retribuit mihi? 

(2) We are led to give thanks to God.

Because God is the Creator of all

things, it is certain that what we are and

what we have is from God: “What do

you have that you did not receive?” [1

Cor 4:7]. “The earth is the Lord’s and the

fullness thereof; the world and all who

dwell on it” [Ps 23:1]. “We, therefore,

must give thanks to God: What shall I

render to the Lord for all the things that

He has done for me?” [Ps 115:12].

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Tertio inducitur ad patientiam in

adversis. Nam licet omnis creatura sit

a Deo, et ex hoc sit bona secundum

suam naturam; tamen si in aliquo

noceat, et inferat nobis poenam,

debemus credere quod illa poena sit

a Deo; non tamen culpa: quia nullummalum est a Deo, nisi quod ordinatur

ad bonum. Et ideo si omnis poena

quam homo suffert est a Deo, debet

patienter sustinere. Nam poenae

purgant peccata, humiliant reos,

provocant bonos ad amorem Dei. Iob

II, 10: si bona suscepimus de manu 

domini, mala autem quare non 


(3) We are led to bear our troubles in

patience. Although every created thing

is from God and is good according to its

nature, yet, if something harms us or

brings us pain, we believe that such

comes from God, not as a fault in Him,

but because God permits no evil that isnot for good. Affliction purifies from sin,

brings low the guilty, and urges on the

good to a love of God: “If we have

received good things from the hand of

God, why should we not receive evil?”

[Job 2:10].

Quarto inducimur ad recte utendum

rebus creatis: nam creaturis debemus

uti ad hoc ad quod factae sunt a Deo.

Sunt autem factae ad duo: scilicet ad

gloriam Dei, quia universa propter 

semetipsum  (id est ad gloriam suam)

operatus est dominus , ut dicitur Prov.

XVI, 4, et ad utilitatem nostram: Deut.

IV, 19: quae fecit dominus Deus tuus 

in ministerium cunctis gentibus .

Debemus ergo uti rebus ad gloriam

Dei, ut scilicet in hoc placeamus Deo;

et ad utilitatem nostram, ut scilicet

ipsis utendo, non committamus

peccatum. I Paralip. XXIX, 14: tua 

sunt omnia, et quae de manu tua 

accepimus dedimus tibi . Quidquid

ergo habes, sive scientiam, sivepulchritudinem, totum debes referre,

et uti eo ad gloriam Dei.

(4) We are led to a right use of created

things. Thus, we ought to use created

things as having been made by God for

two purposes: for His glory, “since all

things are made for Himself” [Prov 16:4]

(that is, for the glory of God), and finally

for our profit: “Which the Lord your God

created for the service of all the nations”

[Deut 4:19]. Thus, we ought to use

things for God’s glory in order to please

Him no less than for our own profit, that

is, so as to avoid sin in using them: All

things are yours, and we have given

you what we received of your hand” [1

Chron 29:14]. Whatever we have, be it

learning or beauty, we must revere all

and use all for the glory of God.

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Quinto ducimur ex hoc in

cognitionem dignitatis humanae.

Deus enim omnia facit propter

hominem, sicut dicitur in Psal. VIII, 8:

omnia subiecisti sub pedibus eius . Et

homo magis est similis Deo inter

creaturas post Angelos: unde diciturGenes. I, 26: faciamus hominem ad 

imaginem et similitudinem nostram .

Hoc quidem non dixit de caelo sive

de stellis, sed de homine. Non autem

quantum ad corpus, sed quantum ad

animam, quae est liberam voluntatem

habens et incorruptibilis, in quo

magis assimilatur Deo quam ceterae

creaturae. Debemus ergo

considerare hominem post Angelos

digniorem esse ceteris creaturis, et

nullo modo dignitatem nostram

diminuere propter peccata et propter

inordinatum appetitum rerum

corporalium, quae viliores sunt nobis,

et ad servitium nostrum factae; sed

eo modo debemus nos habere quo

Deus fecit nos. Deus enim fecit

hominem ut praeesset omnibus quaesunt in terra, et ut subsit Deo.

Debemus ergo dominari et praeesse

rebus; Deo autem subesse, obedire,

ac servire: et ex hoc perveniemus in

fruitionem Dei: quod nobis praestare

et cetera.

(5) We are led also to acknowledge the

great dignity of man. God made all

things for man: “You subjected all things

under his feet” [Ps 8:8], and man is more

like to God than all other creatures save

the Angels: “Let us make man to Our

image and likeness” [Gen 1:26]. Goddoes not say this of the heavens or of

the stars, but of man; and this likeness

of God in man does not refer to the body

but to the human soul, which has free

will and is incorruptible, and therein

man resembles God more than other

creatures do. We ought, therefore, to

consider the nobleness of man as less

than the Angels but greater than all

other creatures. Let us not, therefore,

diminish his dignity by sin and by an

inordinate desire for earthly things

which are beneath us and are made for

our service. Accordingly, we must rule

over things of the earth and use them,

and be subject to God by obeying and

serving Him. And thus we shall come to

he enjoyment of God forever.


Et in Iesum Christum,

Filium eius unicum,

Dominum nostrum

“And in Jesus Christ, His only

Son, our Lord.”

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Non solum est necesse Christianis

unum Deum credere, et hunc esse

creatorem caeli et terrae et

omnium; sed etiam necesse est ut

credant quod Deus est pater, et

quod Christus sit verus filius Dei.

Hoc autem, sicut dicit beatusPetrus in canonica sua II, cap. I,

non est fabulosum, sed certum et

probatum per verbum Dei in

monte: unde dicit ibidem, XVI, 18:

non enim doctas fabulas secuti,

notam facimus vobis domini nostri 

Iesu Christi virtutem et 

praesentiam; sed speculatores 

facti illius magnitudinis. Accipiens 

enim a Deo patre honorem et 

gloriam, voce delapsa ad eum 

huiuscemodi a magnifica gloria: 

hic est filius meus dilectus, in quo 

mihi complacui: ipsum audite. Et 

hanc vocem nos audivimus de 

caelo allatam, cum essemus cum 

ipso in monte sancto . Ipse etiam

Christus Iesus in pluribus locis

vocat Deum patrem suum, et sedicit filium Dei: et apostoli et sancti

patres posuerunt inter articulos

fidei quod Christus est filius Dei,

dicentes: et in Iesum Christum 

filium eius , scilicet Dei. Supple,

credo. \ 

It is not only necessary for Christians to

believe in one God who is the Creator of

heaven and earth and of all things; but also

they must believe that God is the Father

and that Christ is the true Son of God. This,

as St. Peter says, is not mere fable, but is

certain and proved by the word of God onthe Mount of Transfiguration. “For we have

not by following artificial fables made

known to you the power and presence of

our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were

eyewitnesses of His greatness. For He

received from God the Father honor and

glory, this voice coming down to Him from

the excellent glory: ‘This is My beloved

Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to

Him.’ And this voice, we heard brought

from heaven, when we were with Him in

the holy mount” [2 Pet 1:16]. Christ Jesus

Himself in many places called God His

Father, and Himself the Son of God. Both

the Apostles and the Fathers placed in the

articles of faith that Christ is the Son of God

by saying: “And (I believe) in Jesus Christ,

His (i.e., God’s) only Son”.


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Sed aliqui haeretici fuerunt qui hoc

perverse crediderunt. Photinus

enim dicit, quod Christus non est

aliter filius Dei quam boni viri, qui

bene vivendo merentur dici filii Dei

per adoptionem, faciendo Dei

voluntatem; et ita Christus quibene vixit et fecit Dei voluntatem,

meruit dici filius Dei: et voluit quod

Christus non fuerit ante beatam

virginem, sed tunc incepit quando

ex ea conceptus est. Et sic in

duobus erravit. Primo in hoc quod

non dixit eum verum filium Dei

secundum naturam; secundo quod

dixit, eum secundum totum suum

esse ex tempore incepisse; cum

fides nostra teneat quod filius sit

Dei per naturam, et quod ab

aeterno sit: et de his habemus

expressas auctoritates contra eum

in sacra Scriptura. Nam contra

primum dicitur, quod sit non filius

solum, sed etiam unigenitus. Ioan.

I, 18: unigenitus qui est in sinu 

patris, ipse enarravit . Contrasecundum, Ioan. VIII, 58:

antequam Abraham fieret, ego 

sum . Constat autem quod

Abraham ante beatam virginem

fuit: et ideo sancti patres

addiderunt in alio symbolo contra

primum, filium Dei unigenitum ;

contra secundum, et ex patre 

natum ante omnia saecula .

There were, however, certain heretics who

erred in this belief. Photinus, for instance,

believed that Christ is not the Son of God

but a good man who, by a good life and by

doing the will of God, merited to be called

the son of God by adoption; and so Christ

who lived a good life and did the will ofGod merited to be called the son of God.

Moreover, this error would not have Christ

living before the Blessed Virgin, but would

have Him begin to exist only at His

conception. Accordingly, there are here

two errors: the first, that Christ is not the

true Son of God according to His nature;

and the second, that Christ in His entire

being began to exist in time. Our faith,

however, holds that He is the Son of God

in His nature, and that he is from all

eternity. Now, we have definite authority

against these errors in the Holy Scriptures,

Against the first error it is said that Christ is

not only the Son, but also the only-

begotten Son of the Father: “The only

begotten Son who is in the bosom of the

Father, He has declared Him:” [Jn 1:18].

And again the second error it is said:“Before Abraham was made, I AM” [Jn

8:58]. It is evident that Abraham lived

before the Blessed Virgin. And what the

Fathers added to the other [Nicene] Creed,

namely, “the only-begotten Son of God,” is

against the first error; and “born of the

Father before all ages” is against the

second error.

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Sabellius vero licet diceret quod

Christus fuit ante beatam virginem,

dixit tamen quod non est alia

persona patris, alia filii, sed ipse

pater est incarnatus; et ideo

eadem est persona patris et filii.

Sed hoc est erroneum, quia aufertTrinitatem personarum: et contra

hoc est auctoritas Ioan. VIII, 16:

solus non sum; sed ego, et qui 

misit me, pater . Constat autem

nullum a se mitti. Sic ergo mentitur

Sabellius: et ideo in symbolo

patrum additur: Deum de Deo,

lumen de lumine ; idest, Deum

filium de Deo patre, et filium qui

est lumen, de lumine patre esse,

credere debemus.

Sabellius said that Christ indeed was

before the Blessed Virgin, but he held that

the Father Himself became incarnate and,

therefore, the Father and the Son is the

same Person. This is an error because it

takes away the Trinity of Persons in God,

and against it is this authority: “I am notalone, but I and the Father who sent Me”

[Jn 8:16]. It is clear that one cannot be sent

from himself. Sabellius errs therefore, and

in the [Nicene] Creed of the Fathers it is

said: “God of God; Light of Light,” that is,

we are to believe in God the Son from God

the Father, and the Son who is Light from

the Father who is Light.

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Arius autem licet diceret quod

Christus fuerit ante beatam

virginem, et quod alia fuerit

persona patris, alia filii, tamen tria

attribuit Christo. Primum est quod

filius Dei fuit creatura; secundum

est quod non ab aeterno, sed extempore factus sit a Deo

nobilissima creaturarum; tertium

est quod non fuerit unius naturae

Deus filius cum Deo patre, et sic

quod non fuerit verus Deus. Sed

hoc similiter est erroneum, et

contra auctoritates sacrae

Scripturae. Dicitur enim Ioan. X,

30 : ego et pater unum sumus ,

scilicet in natura; et ideo sicut

pater fuit semper, ita et filius; et

sicut pater est verus Deus, ita et

filius. Ubi ergo dicitur ab Ario,

Christum fuisse creaturam, e

contra dicitur in symbolo a

patribus, Deum verum de Deo 

vero ; ubi autem dicitur eum non

fuisse ab aeterno, sed ex tempore,

e contra in symbolo dicitur,genitum, non factum ; contra illud

vero quod dicitur eum non esse

eiusdem substantiae cum patre,

additur in symbolo,

consubstantialem patri .

Arius, although he would say that Christ

was before the Blessed Virgin and that the

Person of the Father is other than the

Person of the Son, nevertheless made a

three-fold attribution to Christ: (1) that the

Son of God was a creature; (2) that He is

not from eternity, but was formed thenoblest of all creatures in time by God; (3)

that God the Son is not of one nature with

God the Father, and therefore that He was

not true God. But this too is erroneous and

contrary to the teaching of the Holy

Scriptures. It is written: “I and the Father

are one” [Jn 10:30]. That is, in nature; and

therefore, just as the Father always

existed, so also the Son; and just as the

Father is true God, so also is the Son. That

Christ is a creature, as said by Arius, is

contradicted in the “Symbol” by the

Fathers: “True God of true God;” and the

assertion that Christ is not from eternity but

in time is also contrary to the [Nicene]

Creed: “Begotten not made;” and finally,

that Christ is not of the same substance as

the Father is denied by the [Nicene] Creed:

“Consubstantial with the Father.”

The truth

Patet ergo quod credere debemus,

quod Christus unigenitus Dei est,

et vere filius Dei, et quod semper

fuerit cum patre, et quod alia est

persona filii, alia patris, et quod

unius est naturae cum patre. Sed

hoc credimus hic per fidem,

cognoscemus autem in vita

aeterna per perfectam visionem. Et

ideo ad consolationem nostram

dicemus aliquid de his.

It is, therefore, clear we must believe that

Christ is the Only-begotten of God, and the

true Son of God, who always was with the

Father, and that there is one Person of the

Son and another of the Father who have

the same divine nature. All this we believe

now through faith, but we shall know it with

a perfect vision in the life eternal. Hence,

we shall now speak somewhat of this for

our own edification.

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Sciendum est igitur, quod diversa

diversum modum generationis

habent. Generatio autem Dei alia

est quam generatio aliarum rerum:

unde non possumus attingere ad

generationem Dei, nisi per

generationem eius quod increaturis magis accedit ad

similitudinem Dei. Nihil est autem

Deo ita simile sicut anima hominis,

ut dictum est. Modus autem

generationis in anima est quia

homo cogitat per animam suam

aliquid, quod vocatur conceptio

intellectus; et huiusmodi conceptio

oritur ex anima, sicut ex patre, et

vocatur verbum intellectus, sive

hominis. Anima igitur cogitando

generat verbum suum. Sic et filius

Dei nihil est aliud quam verbum

Dei; non sicut verbum exterius

prolatum, quia illud transit, sed

sicut verbum interius conceptum:

et ideo ipsum verbum Dei est

unius naturae cum Deo, et

aequale Deo.

It must be known that different things have

different modes of generation. The

generation of God is different from that of

other things. Hence, we cannot arrive at a

notion of divine generation except through

the generation of that created thing which

more closely approaches to a likeness toGod. We have seen that nothing

approaches in likeness to God more than

the human soul. The manner of generation

in the soul is effected in the thinking

process in the soul of man, which is called

a conceiving of the intellect. This

conception takes its rise in the soul as from

a father, and its effect is called the word of

the intellect or of man. In brief, the soul by

its act of thinking begets the word. So also

the Son of God is the Word of God, not like

a word that is uttered exteriorly (for this is

transitory), but as a word is interiorly

conceived; and this Word of God is of the

one nature as God and equal to God.

Unde et beatus Ioannes de verbo

Dei loquens, tres haereses

destruxit. Primo haeresim Photini,

quae tacta est, cum dicit: in 

principio erat verbum ; secundo

Sabellii, cum dicit, et verbum erat 

apud Deum ; tertio Arii, cum dicit, et 

Deus erat verbum .

The testimony of St. John concerning the

Word of God destroys these three

heresies, viz., that of Photinus in the

words: “In the beginning was the Word;”

that of Sabellius in saying: “And the Word

was with God;” and that of Arius when it

says: “And the Word was God” [Jn 1:1].

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Verbum autem aliter est in nobis,

et aliter in Deo. In nobis enim

verbum nostrum est accidens; sed

in Deo verbum Dei est idem quod

ipse Deus, cum nihil sit in Deo

quod non sit essentia Dei. Nullus

autem potest dicere quod Deusnon habeat verbum, quia

contingeret Deum esse

insipientissimum: et ideo sicut fuit

semper Deus, ita et verbum eius.

Sicut autem artifex facit omnia per

formam quam praecogitavit in

corde suo, quod est verbum eius;

ita et Deus omnia facit verbo suo,

sicut per artem suam. Ioan. I, 3:

omnia per ipsum facta sunt . Si

ergo verbum Dei est filius Dei, et

omnia Dei verba sunt similitudo

quaedam istius verbi; debemus

primo libenter audire verba Dei:

hoc est enim signum quod

diligamus Deum, si verba illius

libenter audimus.

But a word in us is not the same as the

Word in God. In us the word is an accident;

whereas in God the Word is the same as

God, since there is nothing in God that is

not of the essence of God. No one would

say God has not a Word, because such

would make God wholly withoutknowledge; and therefore, as God always

existed, so also did His Word ever exist.

Just as a sculptor works from a form which

he has previously thought out, which is his

word; so also God makes all things by His

Word, as it were through His art: “All things

were made by Him” [Jn 1:3].

Secundo debemus credere verbis

Dei, quia ex hoc verbum Dei

habitat in nobis, idest Christus, qui

est verbum Dei, apostolus, Ephes.

III, 17: habitare Christum per fidem 

in cordibus vestris . Ioan. V, 38:

verbum Dei non habetis in vobis 

manens . Tertio oportet quod

verbum Dei in nobis manens

continue meditemur; quia nonsolum oportet credere, sed

meditari; aliter non prodesset; et

huiusmodi meditatio valet multum

contra peccatum. Psal. CXVIII, 11:

in corde meo abscondi eloquia 

tua, ut non peccem tibi ; et iterum

de viro iusto dicitur Psal. I, 2: in 

lege eius meditabitur die ac nocte .

Unde de beata virgine dicitur Luc.II, 51, quod conservabat omnia 

verba haec conferens in corde 

suo .

Now, if the Word of God is the Son of God

and all the words of God bear a certain

likeness of this Word, then we ought to

hear the Word of God gladly; for such is a

sign that we love God. We ought also

believe the word of God whereby the Word

of God dwells in us, who is Christ: “That

Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts”

[Eph 3:17]. “And you have not His word

abiding in you” [Jn 5:38]. But we ought notonly to believe that the Word of God dwells

in us, but also we should meditate often

upon this; for otherwise we will not be

benefitted to the extent that such

meditation is a great help against sin: your

words have I hidden in my heart, that I may

not sin against You” [Ps 108:11]. Again it is

said of the just man: “On His law he shall

meditate day and night” [Ps 1:2]. And it issaid of the Blessed Virgin that she “kept all

these words, pondering them in her heart”

[Lk 2:19].

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Quarto oportet quod homo verbum

Dei communicet aliis,

commonendo, praedicando, et

inflammando. Apostolus, Ephes.

IV, 29: omnis sermo malus ex ore 

vestro non procedat, sed si quis 

bonus ad aedificationem . Idem,Colos. III, 16: verbum Christi 

habitet in vobis abundanter, in 

omni sapientia, docentes et 

commonentes vosmetipsos . Idem,

I Tim. IV, 2: praedica verbum, insta 

opportune, importune, argue,

obsecra, increpa in omni patientia 

et doctrina . Ultimo verbum Dei

debet executioni mandari. Iac. I,

22: estote factores verbi, et non 

auditores tantum, fallentes 

vosmetipsos .

Then also, one should communicate the

word of God to others by advising,

preaching and inflaming their hearts: “Let

no evil speech proceed from your mouth;

but that which is good, to the edification of

faith” [Eph 4:29]. Likewise, “let the word of

Christ dwell in you abundantly in allwisdom, teaching and admonishing one

another” [Col 3:16]. So also: “Preach the

word; be instant in season, out of season;

reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and

doctrine” [2 Tim 4:2]. Finally, we ought to

put the word of God into practice: “Be

doers of the word and not hearers only,

deceiving yourselves” [James 1:22].

Ista quinque servavit per ordinem

beata Maria in generatione verbi

Dei ex se. Primo enim audivit:

spiritus sanctus superveniet in te ,

Luc. II, 35, secundo consensit per

fidem: ecce ancilla domini , ibid.

38, tertio tenuit et portavit in utero,

quarto protulit et peperit eum,

quinto nutrivit et lactavit eum; unde

Ecclesia cantat: ipsum regem 

Angelorum sola virgo lactabat 

ubere de caelo pleno .

The Blessed Virgin observed these five

points when she gave birth to the Word of

God. First, she heard what was said to her:

“The Holy Spirit shall come upon you” [Lk

1:35]. Then she gave her consent through

faith: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord” [Lk

1:38]. And she also received and carried

the Word in her womb. Then she brought

forth the Word of God and, finally, she

nourished and cared for Him. And so the

Church sings: “Only a Virgin nourished

Him who is King of the Angels” [Fourth

Responsory, Office of the Circumcision,

Dominican Breviary.].


qui conceptus est de

Spiritu Sancto, natus ex

Maria Virgine

  “Who was conceived by

the Holy Spirit, born of the

Virgin Mary.”

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Non solum est necessarium credere

Christiano filium Dei, ut ostensum est;

sed etiam oportet credere

incarnationem eius. Et ideo beatus

Ioannes postquam dixerat multa

subtilia et ardua, consequenter

insinuat nobis eius incarnationem,cum dicit: et verbum caro factum est .

Et ut de hoc aliquid capere possimus,

duo exempla ponam in medium.

The Christian must not only believe in

the Son of God, as we have seen, but

also in His Incarnation. St. John, after

having written of things subtle and

difficult to understand, points out the

Incarnation to us when he says: “And

the Word was made flesh” [Jn 1:14].Now, in order that we may understand

something of this, I give two

illustrations at the outset.

Constat quod filio Dei nihil est ita

simile sicut verbum in corde nostro

conceptum, non prolatum. Nullus

autem cognoscit verbum dum est in

corde hominis, nisi ille qui concipit;sed tunc primo cognoscitur cum

profertur. Sic verbum Dei dum erat in

corde patris non cognoscebatur nisi a

patre tantum: sed carne indutum, sicut

verbum voce, tunc primo manifestatum

et cognitum est. Bar. III, 38: post hoc in 

terris visus est, et cum hominibus 

conversatus est . Aliud exemplum est,

quia licet verbum prolatum

cognoscatur per auditum, tamen non

videtur nec tangitur; sed cum scribitur

in charta, tunc videtur et tangitur. Sic et

verbum Dei et visibile et tangibile

factum est, cum in carne nostra fuit

quasi scriptum: et sicut charta in qua

verbum regis scriptum est, dicitur

verbum regis; ita homo cui coniunctum

est verbum Dei in una hypostasi,

dicitur filius Dei. Isai. VIII, 1: sume tibi librum grandem, et scribe in eo stylo 

hominis ; et ideo sancti apostoli

dixerunt: qui conceptus est de spiritu 

sancto, natus ex Maria virgine .

It is clear that there is nothing more like

the Word of God than the word which

is conceived in our mind but not

spoken. Now, no one knows this

interior word in our mind except theone who conceives it, and then it is

known to others only when it is

pronounced. So also as long as the

Word of God was in the heart of the

Father, it was not known except by the

Father Himself; but when the Word

assumed flesh—as a word becomes

audible—then was It first made

manifest and known. “Afterwards He

was seen upon earth and conversed

with men” [Baruch 3:38]. Another

example is that, although the spoken

word is known through hearing, yet it is

neither seen nor touched, unless it is

written on paper. So also the Word of

God was made both visible and

tangible when He became flesh. And

as the paper upon which the word of a

king is written is called the word of theking, so also Man to whom the Word of

God is conjoined in one “hypostasis”.

is called the Son of God. “Take a great

book and write in it with a man’s pen”

[Is 7:1]. Therefore, the holy Apostles

affirmed: “Who was conceived by the

Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.”


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In quo quidem multi erraverunt: unde

et sancti patres in alio symbolo, in

synodo Nicaena, multa addiderunt, per

quae nunc omnes errores destruuntur.

On this point there arose many errors;

and the holy Fathers at the Council of

Nicaea added in that other Creed a

number of things which suppress all

these errors.

Origenes enim dixit, quod Christus estnatus, et etiam venit in mundum, ut

etiam salvaret Daemones: unde dixit

Daemones omnes esse salvandos in

fine mundi. Sed hoc est contra sacram

Scripturam. Dicit enim Matth. XXV, 41:

discedite a me maledicti in ignem 

aeternum, qui paratus est Diabolo et 

Angelis eius . Et ideo ad hoc

removendum additur: qui propter nos homines   (non propter Daemones) et 

propter nostram salutem . In quo

quidem magis apparet amor Dei ad


Origen said that Christ was born andcame into the world to save even the

devils, and, therefore, at the end of the

world all the demons will be saved. But

this is contrary to the Holy Scripture:

Depart from Me, you cursed, into

everlasting fire which was prepared for

the devil and his angels” [Mt 25:41].

Consequently, to remove this error

they added in the Creed: “Who for usmen (not for the devils) and for our

salvation, came down from heaven.” In

this the love of God for us is made

more apparent.

Photinus vero voluit quod Christus

natus esset de beata virgine; sed

addidit quod esset purus homo, qui

bene vivendo et faciendo voluntatemDei, meruit filius Dei fieri, sicut et alii

sancti: contra quod dicitur Ioan. VI, 38:

descendi de caelo, non ut faciam 

voluntatem meam, sed voluntatem 

eius qui misit me . Constat autem quod

non descendisset nisi ibi fuisset; et si

fuisset purus homo, non fuisset in

caelo: et ideo ad hoc removendum

additur: descendit de caelis .

Photinus would have Christ born of the

Blessed Virgin, but added that He was

a mere man who by a good life in

doing the will of God merited tobecome the son of God even as other

holy men. This, too, is denied by this

saying of John: “I came down from

heaven, not to do My own will but the

will of Him who sent Me” [Jn 6:38].

Now if Christ were not in heaven, He

would not have descended from

heaven, and were He a mere man, He

would not have been in heaven.

Hence, it is said in the Nicene Creed:

“He came down from heaven.”

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Manichaeus vero dixit, quod, licet filius

Dei fuerit semper, et descenderit de

caelo, tamen non habuit veram

carnem, sed apparentem. Sed hoc est

falsum: non enim decebat doctorem

veritatis aliquam falsitatem habere: et

ideo sicut ostendit veram carnem, sichabuit. Unde dixit, Luc. XXIV, 39:

palpate, et videte, quia spiritus carnem 

et ossa non habet, sicut me videtis 

habere . Et ideo ad hoc removendum

addiderunt: et incarnatus est .

Manichaeus, however, said that Christ

was always the Son of God and He

descended from heaven, but He was

not actually but only in appearance

clothed in true flesh. But this is false,

because it is not worthy of the Teacher

of Truth to have anything to do withwhat is false, and just as He showed

His physical Body, so it was really His:

“Handle, and see; for a spirit does not

have flesh and bones, as you see I

have” [Lk 24:39]. To remove this error,

therefore, they added: “And He was


Ebion vero, qui fuit genere Iudaeus,dixit quod Christus natus est de beata

virgine, sed ex commixtione viri, et ex

virili semine. Sed hoc est falsum, quia

Angelus dixit, Matth. I, 20: quod enim 

in ea natum est de spiritu sancto est ; et

ideo sancti patres ad hoc removendum

addiderunt: de spiritu sancto .

Ebion, who was a Jew, said that Christwas born of the Blessed Virgin in the

ordinary human way. But this is false,

for the Angel said of Mary: “That which

is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”

[Mt 1:20]. And the holy Fathers to

destroy this error, added: “By the Holy


Valentinus autem licet confitereturquod Christus conceptus fuerit de

spiritu sancto, voluit tamen quod

spiritus sanctus portaverit unum

corpus caeleste, et posuerit in beata

virgine, et hoc fuit corpus Christi: unde

nihil aliud operata est beata virgo, nisi

quod fuit locus eius: unde dixit quod

illud corpus transivit per beatam

virginem sicut per aquaeductum. Sed

hoc est falsum; nam Angelus dixit ei,

Luc. I, 35: quod enim ex te nascetur 

sanctum, vocabitur filius Dei ; et

apostolus, Galat. IV, 4: at ubi venit 

plenitudo temporis, misit Deus filium 

suum factum ex muliere . Et ideo

addiderunt: natus ex Maria virgine .

Valentinus believed that Christ wasconceived by the Holy Spirit, but would

have the Holy Spirit deposit a

heavenly body in the Blessed Virgin,

so that she contributed nothing to

Christ’s birth except to furnish a place

for Him. Thus, he said, this Body

appeared by means of the Blessed

Virgin, as though she were a channel.

This is a great error, for the Angel said:

“And therefore also the Holy One

which shall be born of you shall be

called the Son of God” [Lk 1:35]. And

the Apostle adds: “But when the

fullness of time was come, God sent

His Son, made of a woman” [Gal 4:4].

Hence the Creed says: “Born of the

Virgin Mary.”

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Arius vero et Apollinarius dixerunt,

quod, licet Christus fuerit verbum Dei,

et natus ex Maria virgine, tamen non

habuit animam, sed loco animae fuit

ibi divinitas. Sed hoc est contra

Scripturam; quia Christus dixit, Ioan.

XII, 27: nunc anima mea turbata est ; etiterum Matth. XXVI, 38: tristis est 

anima mea usque ad mortem . Et ideo

sancti patres ad hoc removendum

addiderunt: et homo factus est . Homo

enim ex anima et corpore consistit:

unde verissime habuit omnia quae

homo habere potest praeter peccatum.

In hoc autem quod dicitur homo factus ,

destruuntur omnes errores superius

positi, et omnes alii qui dici possent; et

praecipue error Eutychetis, qui dixit

commixtionem factam, scilicet ex

divina natura et humana factam unam

naturam Christi, quae nec Deus pure

est, nec purus homo. Sed est falsum,

quia tunc non esset homo; et est etiam

contra hoc quod dicitur, quod homo 

factus est . Destruitur etiam error

Nestorii, qui dixit filium Dei unitumesse homini solum per inhabitationem.

Sed hoc est falsum, quia tunc non

esset homo, sed in homine: et quod sit

homo, patet per apostolum, Philip. II, 7:

et habitu inventus ut homo; Ioan. VIII,

40: quid quaeritis me interficere,

hominem, qui veritatem vobis locutus 

sum, quam audivi a Deo? 

Arius and Apollinarius held that,

although Christ was the Word of God

and was born of the Virgin Mary,

nevertheless He did not have a soul,

but in place of the soul was His

divinity. This is contrary to the

Scripture, for Christ says: “Now is Mysoul troubled” [Jn 12:27]. And again:

“My soul is sorrowful even unto death”

[Mt 26:38]. For this reason the Fathers

added: “And was made man.” Now,

man is made up of body and soul.

Christ had all that a true man has save

sin. All the above-mentioned errors

and all others that can be offered are

destroyed by this, that He was made

man. The error of Eutyches particularly

is destroyed by it. He held that, by a

commixture of the divine nature of

Christ with the human, He was neither

purely divine nor purely human. This is

not true, because by it Christ would not

be a man. And so it is said: “He was

made man.” This destroys also the

error of Nestorius, who said that the

Son of God only by an indwelling wasunited to man. This, too, is false,

because by this Christ would not be

man but only in a man, and that He

became man is clear from these words:

“He was in habit found as man” [Phil

2:7]. “But now you seek to kill Me, a

man who have spoken the truth to you,

which I have heard of God” [Jn 8:40].


Possumus autem sumere ex his aliqua

ad eruditionem. Primo enim

confirmatur fides nostra.

We can learn something from all this:

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Si enim aliquis diceret aliqua de

aliqua terra remota, et ipse non fuisset

ibi, non crederetur ei sicut si ibi fuisset.

Antequam ergo veniret Christus in

mundum, patriarchae et prophetae et

Ioannes Baptista dixerunt aliqua de

Deo; sed tamen non ita crediderunt eishomines sicut Christo, qui fuit cum

Deo, immo unum cum ipso. Unde

multum firma est fides nostra ab ipso

Christo nobis tradita. Ioan. I, 18: Deum 

nemo vidit unquam: unigenitus filius 

qui est in sinu patris, ipse enarravit . Et

inde est quod multa fidei secreta sunt

manifesta nobis post adventum Christi,

quae ante occulta erant.

(1) Our faith is strengthened. If, for

instance, someone should tell us about

a certain foreign land which he himself

had never seen, we would not believe

him to the extent we would if he had

been there. Now, before Christ came

into the world, the Patriarchs andProphets and John the Baptist told

something of God; but men did not

believe them as they believed Christ,

who was with God, nay more, was one

with God. Hence, far more firm is our

faith in what is given us by Christ

Himself: “No one has ever seen God;

the only-begotten Son who is in the

bosom of the Father, He has declared

Him” [Jn 1:18]. Thus, many mysteries

of our faith which before the coming of

Christ were hidden from us, are now

made clear.

Secundo ex iis elevatur spes nostra.

Constat enim quod Dei filius non pro

parvo ad nos venit, sumens carnem

nostram, sed pro magna utilitate

nostra; unde fecit quoddam

commercium, scilicet quod assumpsit

corpus animatum, et de virgine nasci

dignatus est, ut nobis largiretur suam

deitatem; et sic factus est homo, ut

hominem faceret Deum. Rom. V, 2: per 

quem habemus accessum per fidem in 

gratiam istam, in qua stamus et 

gloriamur in spe gloriae filiorum Dei .

(2) Our hope is raised up. It is certain

that the Son of Man did not come to us,

assuming our flesh, for any trivial

cause, but for our exceeding great

advantage. For He made as it were a

trade with us, assuming a living body

and deigning to be born of the Virgin,

in order to grant us His divinity. [Cf.

Mass prayer at mixing of water and

wine]. And thus He became man that

He might make man divine.

Tertio ex hoc accenditur caritas.

Nullum enim est tam evidens divinae

caritatis indicium quam quod Deus

creator omnium factus est creatura,

dominus noster factus est frater noster,

filius Dei factus est filius hominis. Ioan.

III, 16: sic Deus dilexit mundum ut 

filium suum unigenitum daret . Et ideo

ex huius consideratione amor

reaccendi debet et inflammari ad


(3) Our charity is enkindled. There is

no proof of divine charity so clear as

that God, the Creator of all things, is

made a creature; that Our Lord is

become our brother, and that the Son

of God is made the Son of man: “For

God so loved the world as to give His

only-begotten Son” [Jn 3:16].

Therefore, upon consideration of this

our love for God ought to be re-ignited

and burst into flame.

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Quarto inducimur ad servandam

puram animam nostram. Intantum

enim natura nostra fuit nobilitata et

exaltata ex coniunctione ad Deum,

quod fuit ad consortium divinae

personae suscepta: unde Angelus

post incarnationem noluit sustinerequod beatus Ioannes adoraret eum,

quod ante sustinuerat etiam a maximis

patriarchis. Ideo homo huius

exaltationem recolens et attendens,

debet dedignari vilificare se et naturam

suam per peccatum: ideo dicit beatus

Petrus: per quem maxima et pretiosa 

nobis promissa donavit, ut per haec 

efficiamur divinae consortes naturae,

fugientes eius quae in mundo est 

concupiscentiae corruptionem .

(4) This induces us to keep our souls

pure. Our nature was exalted and

ennobled by its union with God to the

extent of being assumed into union

with a Divine Person. Indeed, after the

Incarnation the Angel would not permit

St. John to adore him, although heallowed this to be done before by even

the greatest patriarchs [Rev 22:8].

Therefore, one who reflects on this

exaltation of his nature and is ever

conscious of it, should scorn to

cheapen and lower himself and his

nature by sin. Thus, says St. Peter: “By

these He has given us most great and

precious promises; that by them you

may be made partakers of the divine

nature; flying the corruption of that

concupiscence which is in the world”

[2 Pet 1:4].

Quinto ex his inflammatur desiderium

nostrum ad perveniendum ad

Christum. Si enim aliquis rex esset

frater alicuius, et esset remotus ab eo,

desideraret ille cuius frater esset rex,

ad eum venire, et apud eum esse et

manere. Unde cum Christus sit frater

noster, debemus desiderare esse cum

eo et coniungi ei: Matth. XXIV, 28:

ubicumque fuerit corpus, illuc 

congregabuntur et aquilae ; et

apostolus desiderium habebat dissolvi

et esse cum Christo: quod quidem

desiderium crescit in nobisconsiderando incarnationem eius.

Finally, by consideration of all this, our

desire to come to Christ is intensified. If

a king had a brother who was away

from him a long distance, that brother

would desire to come to the king to

see, to be with him and to abide with

him. So also Christ is our brother, and

we should desire to be with Him and to

be united to Him. “Wherever the body

shall be, there shall the eagles also

gathered together” [Mt 24:28]. The

Apostle desired “to be dissolved and

be with Christ” [Phil 1:23]. And it is this

desire which grows in us as wemeditate upon the Incarnation of



passus sub Pontio

Pilato, crucifixus,

mortuus, et sepultus

“Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was


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Sicut necessarium est Christiano

quod credat incarnationem filii Dei,

ita necessarium est quod credat

passionem eius et mortem: quia,

sicut dicit Gregorius, nihil nobis

nasci profuit, nisi redimi profuisset.

Hoc autem, scilicet quod Christuspro nobis est mortuus, ita est

arduum quod vix potest intellectus

noster capere; immo nullo modo

cadit in intellectu nostro. Et hoc est

quod dicit apostolus, Act. XIII, 41:

opus operor ego in diebus vestris,

opus quod non credetis, si quis 

enarraverit vobis ; et Habac. I, 5:

opus factum est in diebus vestris 

quod nemo credet cum narrabitur .

Tanta est enim gratia Dei et amor

ad nos, quod plus ipse fecit nobis

quam possumus intelligere. Non

tamen debemus credere quod

Christus ita sustinuerit mortem

quod deitas mortua sit; sed quod

humana natura in ipso mortua sit.

Non enim mortuus est secundum

quod Deus erat, sed secundumquod homo:

It is just as necessary for the Christian to

believe in the passion and death of the

Son of God as it is to believe in His

Incarnation. For, as St. Gregory says,

“there would have been no advantage in

His having been born for us unless we

had profited by His Redemption.” ThatChrist died for us is so tremendous a fact

that our intellect can scarcely grasp it; for

in no way does it fall in the natural way of

our understanding. This is what the

Apostle says: “I work in your days, a work

which you will not believe, if any man

shall tell it to you” [Acts 13:41, from Hab

1:5]. The grace of God is so great and His

love for us is such that we cannot

understand what He has done for us.

Now, we must believe that, although

Christ suffered death, yet His Godhead

did not die; it was the human nature in

Christ that died. For He did not die as

God, but as man.

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et hoc patet per tria exempla. Unum

est in nobis. Constat enim quod

cum homo moritur, in separatione

animae a corpore non moritur

anima, sed ipsum corpus, seu caro.

Sic et in morte Christi non est

mortua divinitas, sed naturahumana. Sed si Iudaei non

occiderunt divinitatem, videtur quod

non magis peccaverunt quam si

occidissent unum alium hominem.

Ad hoc est dicendum, quod dato

quod rex esset indutus una veste,

si quis inquinaret vestem illam,

tantum reatum incurreret ac si

ipsum regem inquinasset. Ideo

Iudaei licet non possent Deum

interficere, tamen humanam

naturam a Christo assumptam

occidentes, sunt tantum puniti ac si

ipsam divinitatem occidissent. Item,

sicut dictum est superius, filius Dei

est verbum Dei, et verbum Dei

incarnatum est sicut verbum regis

scriptum in charta. Si igitur aliquis

dilaniaret chartam regis, pro tantohabetur ac si dilaniaret verbum

regis. Et ideo tanto habetur

peccatum Iudaeorum ac si

occidissent verbum Dei.

This will be clear from two examples, one

of which is taken from himself. Now, when

a man dies, in the separation of the soul

from the body the soul does not die but the

body or flesh does die. So also in the

death of Christ, His Divinity did not die,

but His man nature suffered death. But ifthe Jews did not slay the Divinity of Christ,

it would seem that their sin was not any

greater than if they killed any ordinary

man. In answering this we say that it is as

if a king were clothed only in one garment,

and if someone befouled this garment,

such a one has committed as grave a

crime as if he had defiled the king himself.

Likewise, although the Jews could not

slay God, yet in putting to death the

human nature which Christ assumed, they

were as severely punished as if they had

put the Godhead itself to death. Another

example is had from what we said before,

viz., that the Son of God is the Word of

God, and the Word of God made flesh is

like the word of a king written on paper.

So if one should tear this royal paper in

pieces, it would be considered that he hadrent apart the word of the king. Thus, the

sin of the Jews was as grievous as if they

had slain the Word of God.


Sed quae necessitas ut verbum

Dei pateretur pro nobis? Magna: et

potest colligi duplex necessitas.

Una est ad remedium contra

peccata, alia est ad exemplum

quantum ad agenda. Ad remedium

quidem, quia contra omnia mala

quae incurrimus per peccatum,

invenimus remedium per

passionem Christi. Incurrimus

autem quinque mala.

But what need was there that the Son of

God should suffer for us? There was a

great need; and indeed it can be assigned

to two reasons. The first is that it was a

remedy against sin, and the second is for

an example of what we ought to do. It was

a remedy to such an extent that in the

passion of Christ we find a remedy

against all the evils which we incur by our

sins. And by our sins we incur five

different evils.

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Primo maculam: homo enim cum

peccat, deturpat animam suam:

quia sicut virtus animae est

pulchritudo eius, ita peccatum est

macula eius. Bar. III, 10: quid est,

Israel, quod in terra inimicorum es 

(...) coinquinatus es cum mortuis? Sed hoc removet passio Christi:

nam Christus sua passione fecit

balneum in sanguine suo, quo

peccatores lavaret. Apoc. I, 5: lavit 

nos a peccatis nostris in sanguine 

suo . Lavatur autem anima

sanguine Christi in Baptismo, quia

ex Christi sanguine virtutem habet

regenerativam. Et ideo cum aliquis

se inquinat per peccatum, facit

Christo iniuriam, et magis peccat

quam ante. Hebr. X, 28-29: irritam 

quis faciens legem Moysi, sine ulla 

miseratione duobus vel tribus 

testibus moritur; quanto magis 

putatis deteriora mereri supplicia 

qui filium Dei conculcaverit, et 

sanguinem testamenti pollutum 


The first evil that man incurs by sin is the

defilement of his soul. Just as virtue gives

the soul its beauty, so sin makes it ugly.

“How happened it, O Israel, that you art in

your enemies’ land?... You art defiled with

the dead” [Baruch 3:10-11]. But all this is

taken away by the passion of Christ,whereby Christ poured out His blood as a

laver wherein sinners are cleansed: “Who

loved us and washed us from our sins in

His own blood” [Rev 1:5]. So, too, the soul

is washed by the blood of Christ in

baptism because then a new birth is had

in virtue of His blood, and hence when

one defiles one’s soul by sin, one offers

insult to Christ and sins more gravely than

before one’s baptism. “A man who has

violated the law of Moses dies without any

mercy at the testimony of two or three

witnesses. How much worse punishment

do you think will be deserved by one who

treads underfoot the Son of God and

esteems the blood of the testament

unclean!” [Heb 10:28-29].

Secundo incurrimus offensam Dei.

Nam sicut carnalis diligit carnalem

pulchritudinem, ita Deus

spiritualem, quae est pulchritudo

animae. Quando ergo anima per

peccatum inquinatur, Deus

offenditur, et odio habet

peccatorem. Sap. XIV, 9: odio sunt Deo impius et impietas eius . Sed

Christi passio hoc removet, qui

Deo patri satisfecit pro peccato, pro

quo ipse homo satisfacere non

poterat; cuius caritas fuit maior et

obedientia quam peccatum primi

hominis et praevaricatio. Rom. V,

10 : cum inimici essemus (Deo),

reconciliati sumus Deo per mortem filii eius .

Secondly, we commit an offense against

God. A sensual man loves the beauty of

the flesh, but God loves spiritual beauty,

which is the beauty of the soul. When,

however, the soul is defiled by sin, God is

offended and the sinner incurs His hatred:

“To God the wicked and his wickedness

are hateful alike” [Wis 14:9]. This also isremoved by the passion of Christ, which

made satisfaction to God the Father for sin

 —a thing which man of himself could

never do. The charity and obedience of

Christ in His suffering were greater than

the sin and disobedience of the first man:

“When we were enemies, we were

reconciled to God by the death of His Son”

[Rom 5:10].

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Tertio incurrimus infirmitatem. Nam

homo semel peccando credit

postmodum a peccato posse

continere; sed totum contrarium

accidit: quia per primum peccatum

debilitatur, et fit pronior ad

peccandum; et peccatum magisdominatur homini, et homo,

quantum de se est, ponit se in tali

statu ut non surgat, sicut qui in

puteum se proiicit, nisi ex divina

virtute. Unde postquam homo

peccavit, natura nostra fuit

debilitata et corrupta; et tunc homo

fuit pronior ad peccandum. Sed

Christus hanc infirmitatem et

debilitatem diminuit, licet non totam

deleverit; tamen ita est homo ex

Christi passione confortatus, et

peccatum debilitatum, quod non

tantum dominatur ei; et potest

homo conari adiutus gratia Dei,

quae confertur in sacramentis,

quae ex Christi passione

efficaciam habent, ita quod potest

resilire a peccatis. Apostolus, Rom.VI, 6: vetus homo noster simul 

crucifixus est, ut destruatur corpus 

peccati . Nam ante passionem

Christi pauci inventi sunt sine

peccato mortali viventes; sed post

sine peccato mortali multi vixerunt

et vivunt.

Thirdly, we have been weakened by sin.

When a person sins the first time, he

believes that he will thereafter keep away

from sin, but what happens is the very

opposite. This is because by that first sin

he is weakened and made more prone to

commit sins, and sin more and more haspower over him. Such a one, as far as he

alone is concerned, has lowered himself

to such a condition that he cannot rise up,

and is like to a man who jumps into a well

from which, without God’s help, he would

never be rescued. After the fall of man, our

nature was weakened and corrupted, and

we were made more prone to sin. Christ,

however, lessened this sickness and

weakness, although He did not entirely

take it away. So now man is strengthened

by the passion of Christ, and sin is not

given such power over him. Moreover, he

can rise clean from his sins when aided

by God’s grace conferred by the

Sacraments, which receive their efficacy

from the passion of Christ: “Our old man is

crucified with Him, that the body of sin

may be destroyed” [Rom 6:6]. Indeed,before the passion of Christ few there

were who lived without falling into mortal

sin; but afterwards many have lived and

are living without mortal sin.

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Quarto incurrimus reatum poenae.

Hoc enim exigit iustitia Dei, ut

quicumque peccat, puniatur. Poena

autem pensatur ex culpa. Unde

cum culpa peccati mortalis sit

infinita, utpote contra bonum

infinitum, scilicet Deum, cuiuspraecepta peccator contemnit;

poena debita peccato mortali est

infinita. Sed Christus per suam

passionem abstulit nobis poenam

hanc, et sustinuit ipse. I Petr. II, 24:

peccata nostra   (idest poenam

peccati) ipse pertulit in corpore suo .

Nam passio Christi fuit tantae

virtutis quod sufficit ad expiandum

omnia peccata totius mundi, etiam

si essent centum millia. Et inde est

quod baptizati ab omnibus peccatis

laxantur. Inde est etiam quod

sacerdos peccata dimittit. Inde est

etiam quod quicumque magis

passioni Christi se conformat,

maiorem consequitur veniam, et

plus meretur de gratia.

Fourthly, we incur the punishment due to

sin. For the justice of God demands that

whosoever sins must be punished. This

punishment, however, is in proportion to

the guilt. But the guilt of mortal sin is

infinite, because it is an offense against

the infinite good, namely, God, whosecommandments the sinner holds in

contempt. Therefore, the punishment due

to mortal sin is infinite. Christ, however,

through His passion has taken away this

punishment from us and borne it Himself:

“Who Himself bore our sins (that is, the

punishment due to sin) in His body upon

the tree” [1 Pet 2:24]. The passion of

Christ was of such value that it sufficed to

expiate for all the sins of the whole world,

even of a hundred thousand worlds. And

so it is that, when a man is baptized, he is

released from all his sins; and so also is it

that the priest forgives sins; and, again,

the more one conforms himself to the

passion of Christ, the greater is the pardon

and the grace which he gains.

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Quinto incurrimus exilium regni.

Nam qui offendunt reges, exulare

coguntur a regno. Sic et homo

propter peccatum expellitur de

Paradiso. Inde est quod Adam

statim post peccatum est eiectus de

Paradiso, et clausa est ianuaParadisi. Sed Christus sua

passione ianuam illam aperuit, et

ad regnum exules revocavit. Aperto

enim latere Christi, aperta est ianua

Paradisi; et fuso sanguine eius,

deleta est macula, placatus est

Deus, ablata est debilitas, expiata

est poena, exules revocantur ad

regnum. Et inde est quod statim

latroni dicitur (Luc. XXIII, 43): hodie 

mecum eris in Paradiso . Hoc non

est dictum olim: non enim dictum

fuit alicui, non Adae, non Abrahae,

non David; sed hodie, scilicet

quando aperta est ianua, latro

veniam petit et invenit. Hebr. X, 19:

habentes (...) fiduciam in introitu 

sanctorum in sanguine Christi .

Fifthly, we incur banishment from the

kingdom of heaven. Those who offend

kings are compelled to go into exile. Thus,

man is expelled from heaven on account

of sin. Adam was driven out of paradise

immediately after his sin, and the gate of

paradise was shut. But Christ by Hissufferings and death opened this gate and

recalled all the exiles to the kingdom. With

the opening of the side of Christ, the gate

of paradise is opened; and with the

pouring out of His blood, guilt is washed

away, satisfaction is made to God,

infirmity is removed, punishment is

expiated, and the exiles are called back to

the kingdom. Hence, the thief received the

immediate response: “This day you shall

be with Me in paradise” [Lk 23:43]. Never

before was this spoken to anyone, not to

Adam, not to Abraham, not to David; but

this day (i.e., as soon as the gate is

opened) the thief, having asked for

pardon, received it: “Having a confidence

in the entering into the holies by the blood

of Christ” [Heb 10:19].


Sic ergo patet utilitas ex parte

remedii. Sed non minor est utilitas

quantum ad exemplum. Nam, sicut

dicit beatus Augustinus, passio

Christi sufficit ad informandum

totaliter vitam nostram. Quicumque

enim vult perfecte vivere, nihil aliud

faciat nisi quod contemnat quae

Christus in cruce contempsit, et

appetat quae Christus appetiit.

Nullum enim exemplum virtutis

abest a cruce.

From all this then is seen the effect of the

passion of Christ as a remedy for sin. But

no less does it profit us as an example. St.

Augustine says that the passion of Christ

can bring about a complete reformation of

our lives. Whoever wishes to live perfectly

need do nothing other than despise what

Christ despised on the cross, and desire

what Christ desired. There is no virtue that

did not have its example on the Cross.

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Si enim quaeras exemplum

caritatis, maiorem caritatem nemo 

habet ut animam suam ponat quis 

pro amicis suis , Ioan. XV, 13. Et

hoc in cruce fecit Christus. Et ideo

si pro nobis animam suam dedit,

non debet nobis esse gravequaecumque mala sustinere pro

ipso. Psal. CXV, 12: quid retribuam 

domino pro omnibus quae retribuit 


So if you seek an example of charity, then,

“greater love than this no one has, than to

lay down his life for his friends” [Jn 15:13].

And this Christ did upon the Cross. If,

therefore, He gave His life or us, we ought

to endure any and all evils for Him: “What

shall I render to the Lord for all the thingsthat He has done for me?” [Ps 15:12].

Si quaeris exemplum patientiae,

excellentissima in cruce invenitur.

Patientia enim ex duobus magna

ostenditur: aut cum quis magnapatienter suffert, aut cum ea suffert

quae vitare posset, et non vitat.

Christus autem magna in cruce

pertulit. Thren. I, 12: o vos omnes 

qui transitis per viam, attendite, et 

videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus ;

et patienter, quia, cum pateretur,

non comminabatur , I Petr. II, 23; et

Isai. LIII, 7: sicut ovis ad 

occisionem ducetur, et quasi agnus 

coram tondente se obmutescet .

Item vitare potuit, et non vitavit.

Matth. XXVI, 53: an putas quia non 

possum rogare patrem meum, et 

exhibebit mihi modo plusquam 

duodecim legiones Angelorum? 

Magna est ergo Christi patientia in

cruce. Hebr. XII, 1-2: per patientiam 

curramus ad propositum nobis certamen, aspicientes in auctorem 

fidei et consummatorem Iesum, qui,

proposito sibi gaudio sustinuit 

crucem confusione contempta .

If you seek an example of patience, you

will find it in its highest degree upon the

Cross. Great patience is exemplified in

two ways: either when one suffersintensely in all patience, or when one

suffers that which he could avoid if he so

wished. Christ suffered greatly upon the

Cross: “All you who pass by the way, look

and see if there is any sorrow like My

sorrow” [Lam 1:12]. And with all patience,

because, “when He suffered, He did not

threaten” [1 Pet 2:23]. And again: “He

shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter

and shall be dumb before His shearer,

and shall not open His mouth” [Is 53:7].

He could have avoided this suffering, but

He did not: “Do you think that I cannot ask

My Father, and He will give Me presently

more than twelve legions of Angels?” [Mt

26:23]. The patience of Christ upon the

cross, therefore, was of the highest

degree: “Let us run by patience to the fight

proposed to us; looking on Jesus, theauthor and finisher of faith, who, having

 joy set before Him endured the cross,

despising the shame” [Heb 12:1-2].

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Si quaeris exemplum humilitatis,

respice crucifixum: nam Deus

iudicari voluit sub Pontio Pilato, et

mori. Iob XXXVI, 17: causa tua 

quasi impii iudicata est . Vere impii:

q u i a , morte turpissima 

condemnemus eum , Sap. II, 20.Dominus pro servo, et vita

Angelorum pro homine mori voluit.

Philip. II, 8: factus est obediens 

usque ad mortem .

If you seek an example of humility, look

upon Him who is crucified; although He

was God, He chose to be judged by

Pontius Pilate and to be put to death:

“Your cause has been judged as that of

the wicked” [Job 36:17]. Truly “that of the

wicked,” because: “Let us condemn Himto a most shameful death” [Wis 2:20]. The

Lord chose to die for His servant; the Life

of the Angels suffered death for man: “He

humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto

death, even to the death of the cross” [Phil


Si quaeris exemplum obedientiae,

sequere eum qui factus estobediens patri usque ad mortem.

Rom. V, 19: sicut per 

inobedientiam unius hominis 

peccatores constituti sunt multi: ita 

per unius obedientiam, iusti 

constituentur multi .

If you seek an example of obedience,

imitate Him who was obedient to theFather unto death: “For by the

disobedience of one man, many were

made sinners; so also by the obedience of

one, many shall be made just” [Rom 5:19].

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Si quaeris exemplum contemnendi

terrena, sequere eum qui est rex

regum et dominus dominantium, in

quo sunt thesauri sapientiae; in

cruce tamen nudatum, illusum,

consputum, caesum, spinis

coronatum, et felle et acetopotatum, et mortuum. Igitur non

afficiaris ad vestes, et ad divitias:

q u i a diviserunt sibi vestimenta 

mea , Psal. XXI, 19; non ad

honores, quia ego ludibria et

verbera expertus sum; non ad

dignitates, quia plectentes coronam

de spinis imposuerunt capiti meo;

non ad delicias, quia in siti mea 

potaverunt me aceto , Psal. LXVIII,

22. Augustinus super illud Hebr.

X I I : qui proposito sibi gaudio 

sustinuit crucem, confusione 

contempta, dicit: omnia bona 

terrena contempsit homo Christus 

Iesus ut contemnenda monstraret .

If you seek an example of contempt for

earthly things, imitate Him who is the King

of kings, the Lord of rulers, in whom are all

the treasures of wisdom; but on the Cross

He was stripped naked, ridiculed, spat

upon, bruised, crowned with thorns, given

to drink of vinegar and gall, and finally putto death. How falsely, therefore, is one

attached to riches and raiment, for: “They

divided My garments amongst them; and

upon My robe they cast lots” [Ps 21:19].

How falsely to honors, since “I was

covered with lashes and insults;” how

falsely to positions of power, because

“taking a crown of thorns, they placed it

upon My brow;” how falsely to delicacies

of the table, for “in My thirst they gave Me

to drink of vinegar” [Ps 68:22]. Thus, St.

Augustine, in commenting on these

words, “Who, having joy set before Him,

endured the Cross despising the shame”

[Heb 12:2]. says: “The man Christ

despised all earthly things in order to

teach us to despise them.


descendit ad infernos,

tertia die resurrexit a


“He Descended to the

Underworld. The third day He

arose again from the dead.”

Sicut dictum est, mors Christi fuit in

separatione animae a corpore,

sicut et aliorum hominum; sed

divinitas ita insolubiliter iuncta fuit

homini Christo, quod licet anima et

corpus separarentur ab invicem,

ipsa tamen deitas perfectissime

semper et animae et corpori affuit;

et ideo in sepulcro cum corpore fuit

filius Dei, et ad Inferos cum anima


The death of Christ was the separation of

His soul from His body as it is with other

men. But the Divinity was so indissolubly

conjoined to the Man-Christ that although

His soul and body were disunited, His

Divinity was always most perfectly united

to both the soul and body. This we have

seen above. Therefore in the Sepulchre

His body was together with the Son of God

who together with His soul descended to

the underworld.

Why descend?

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Sunt autem quatuor rationes quare

Christus cum anima ad Infernum

descendit. Prima ut sustineret

totam poenam peccati, ut sic totam

culpam expiaret. Poena autem

peccati hominis non solum erat

mors corporis, sed etiam eratpoena in anima: quia etiam

peccatum erat quantum ad

animam, quia etiam ipsa anima

puniebatur quantum ad carentiam

visionis divinae: pro qua abolenda

nondum satisfactum erat. Et ideo

post mortem descendebant

omnes, etiam sancti patres, ante

Christi adventum, ad Infernum. Ut

ergo Christus sustineret totam

poenam peccatoribus debitam,

voluit non solum mori, sed etiam

secundum animam ad Infernum

descendere. Unde Psal. LXXXVII,

4 : aestimatus sum cum 

descendentibus in lacum: factus 

sum sicut homo sine adiutorio inter 

mortuos liber . Alii enim erant ibi ut

servi, sed Christus ut liber.

There are four reasons why Christ together

with His soul descended to the

underworld. First, He wished to take upon

Himself the entire punishment for our sin,

and thus atone for its entire guilt. The

punishment for the sin of man was not

alone death of the body, but there was alsoa punishment of the soul, since the soul

had its share in sin; and it was punished

by being deprived of the beatific vision;

and as yet no atonement had been offered

whereby this punishment would be taken

away. Therefore, before the coming of

Christ all men, even the holy fathers after

their death, descended into the

underworld. Accordingly in order to take

upon Himself most perfectly the

punishment due to sinners, Christ not only

suffered death, but also His soul

descended to the underworld. He,

however, descended for a different cause

than did the fathers; for they did so out of

necessity and were of necessity taken

there and detained, but Christ descended

there of His own power and free will: “I am

counted among them that go down to thepit; I am become as a man without help,

free among the dead” [Ps 87:5–Vulgate].

The others were there as captives, but

Christ was freely there.

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Secunda ratio est ut perfecte

subveniret suis amicis omnibus.

Habebat enim amicos suos non

solum in mundo, sed etiam in

Inferno. In hoc enim sunt aliqui

amici Christi inquantum habent

caritatem; in Inferno autem multierant qui cum caritate et fide

venturi decesserant, sicut

Abraham, Isaac, Iacob, Moyses,

David et alii iusti et perfecti viri. Et

quia Christus suos visitaverat in

mundo, et eis subvenerat per

mortem suam, voluit etiam visitare

suos qui erant in Inferno, et

subvenire eis descendendo ad

eos. Eccli. XXIV, 45: penetrabo 

omnes inferiores partes terrae, et 

inspiciam omnes dormientes, et 

illuminabo omnes sperantes in 

domino .

The second reason is that He might

perfectly deliver all His friends. Christ had

His friends both in the world and in the

underworld. The former were His friends in

that they possessed charity; and the latter

were they who departed this life with

charity and faith in the future Redeemer,such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses,

David, and other just and good men.

Therefore, since Christ had dwelt among

His friends in this world and had delivered

them by His death, so He wished to visit

His friends who were detained in the

underworld and deliver them also: “I will

penetrate all the lower parts of the earth,

and will behold all that hope in the Lord”

[Sir 24:45].

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Tertia vero ratio est ut perfecte de

Diabolo triumpharet. Tunc enim

perfecte triumphat aliquis de

aliquo, quando non solum vincit

eum in campo, sed etiam invadit

eum usque in domum propriam, et

aufert ei sedem regni et domumsuam. Christus autem

triumphaverat contra Diabolum, et

in cruce vicerat eum: unde ait Ioan.

XII, 31: nunc iudicium est mundi,

nunc princeps huius mundi 

(scilicet Diabolus) eiicietur foras .

Et ideo ut perfecte triumpharet,

voluit auferre sedem regni sui, et

ligare eum in domo sua quae est

Infernus. Et ideo descendit illuc, et

diripuit omnia sua, et ligavit eum,

et abstulit ei praedam suam.

Coloss. II, 15: expolians 

principatus et potestates, traduxit 

confidenter, palam triumphans illos 

in semetipso . Similiter etiam quia

potestatem et possessionem

acceperat Christus caeli et terrae,

voluit etiam possessionemaccipere Inferni, ut sic, secundum

apostolum ad Philip. II, 10: in 

nomine Iesu omne genuflectatur,

caelestium, terrestrium et 

Infernorum ; Marc., ult. 17: in 

nomine meo Daemonia eiicient .

The third reason is that He would

completely triumph over the devil. Now, a

person is perfectly vanquished when he is

not only overcome in conflict, but also

when the assault is carried into his very

home, and the seat of his kingdom is taken

away from him. Thus Christ triumphed overthe devil, and on the Cross He completely

vanquished him: “Now is the judgment of

this world; now shall the prince of this

world (that is, the devil) be cast out” [Jn

12:31]. To make this triumph complete,

Christ wished to deprive the devil of the

seat of his kingdom and to imprison him in

his own house—which is the underworld.

Christ, therefore, descended there, and

despoiled the devil of everything and

bound him, taking away his prey: “And

despoiling the principalities and powers,

He hath exposed them confidently in open

show, triumphing over them in Himself”

[Col 2:15]. Likewise, Christ who had

received the power and possession of

heaven and earth, desired too the

possession of the underworld, as says the

Apostle: “That in the name of Jesus everyknee should bow, of those that are in

heaven, on earth, and under the earth”

[Phil 2:10]. “In My name they shall cast out

devils” [Mk 16:17].

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Quarta ratio et ultima est ut

liberaret sanctos qui erant in

Inferno. Christus enim sicut voluit

pati mortem ut liberaret viventes a

morte; ita etiam voluit descendere

ad Infernum, ut liberaret eos qui

erant ibi. Zach. IX, 11: tu quoque in sanguine testamenti tui emisisti 

vinctos tuos de lacu, in quo non 

est aqua . Oseae XIII, 14: ero mors 

tua, o mors; morsus ero tuus,

Inferne . Licet enim mortem totaliter

destruxerit Christus, Infernum

tamen non omnino destruxit, sed

momordit; quia scilicet non omnes

liberavit de Inferno, sed illos

tantum qui erant sine peccato

mortali, et similiter sine peccato

originali, a quo quantum ad

personam liberati erant per

circumcisionem; vel ante

circumcisionem, qui salvati erant

in fide parentum fidelium, quantum

ad eos qui non habebant usum

rationis; vel per sacrificia, et in fide

Christi venturi, quantum adadultos; sed erant ibi propter

peccatum originale Adae, a quo

quantum ad naturam non

potuerunt liberari nisi per

Christum. Et ideo dimisit ibi illos

qui descenderunt cum peccato

mortali, et incircumcisos parvulos:

et ideo dicit: ero morsus tuus,

Inferne . Sic ergo patet quodChristus descendit ad Inferos, et

propter quod. Ex iis ad

instructionem nostram possumus

accipere quatuor.

The fourth and final reason is that Christ

might free the just who were in the

underworld. For as Christ wished to suffer

death to deliver the living from death, so

also He would descend into the

underworld to deliver those who were

there: “You also by the blood of yourtestament, sent forth your prisoners out of

the pit where there is no water” [Zech

9:11]. And again: “O death, I will be your

death; O hell, I will be your bite” [Hosea

13:14]. Although Christ wholly overcame

death, yet not so completely did He

destroy the underworld, but, as it were, He

bit it. He did not free all from the

underworld, but those only who were

without mortal sin. He likewise liberated

those without original sin, from which they,

as individuals, were freed by circumcision;

or before [the institution of]. circumcision,

they who had been saved through their

parents’ faith (which refers to those who

died before having the use of reason); or

by the sacrifices, and by their faith in the

future coming of Christ (which refers to

adults)”. The reason they were there in theunderworld is original sin which they had

contracted from Adam, and from which as

members of the human race they could not

be delivered except by Christ. Therefore,

Christ left there those who had descended

there with mortal sin, and the non-

circumcised children. Thus, it is seen that

Christ descended into the underworld, and

for what reasons. Now we may gather fourconsiderations from this for our own



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Primo spem firmam de Deo. Nam

quantumcumque homo sit in

afflictione, semper tamen debet

sperare de Dei adiutorio, et in eo

confidere. Nihil enim ita grave

invenitur sicut esse in Inferno. Si

ergo Christus illos qui erant inInferno liberavit, multum debet

quilibet, si est amicus Dei,

confidere ut liberetur ab eo a

quacumque angustia. Sap. X, 13:

haec   (scilicet sapientia) venditum 

iustum non dereliquit  et cetera, ib.

1 4 , descenditque cum illo in 

foveam, et in vinculis non 

dereliquit eum . Et quia specialiter

Deus iuvat servos suos, multum

debet esse securus ille qui servit

Deo. Eccli. XXIV, 16: qui timet 

Deum, nihil trepidabit, et non 

pavebit, quoniam ipse est spes 

eius .

(1) A firm hope in God. No matter how

much one is afflicted, one ought always

hope in the assistance of God and have

trust in Him. There is nothing so serious as

to be in the underworld. If, therefore, Christ

delivered those who were in the

underworld, what great confidence oughtevery friend of God have that he will be

delivered from all his troubles! “She [that

is, wisdom] did not forsake the just when

he was sold, but delivered him from

sinners. She went down with him into the

pit. And in bonds she did not leave him”

[Wis 10:13]. God helps in a special manner

those who serve Him, and hence the

servant of God should feel secure in Him:

“He who fears the Lord shall tremble at

nothing and shall not be afraid; for He is

his hope” [Sir 34:16].

Secundo debemus concipere

timorem, et propellere

praesumptionem. Nam licet

Christus passus sit pro

peccatoribus, et ad Infernum

descenderit; non tamen liberavit

omnes, sed illos tantum qui sine

peccato mortali erant, ut dictum

est. Illos vero qui in mortali

decesserant, dimisit. Et ideo nullus

qui cum peccato mortali illuc

descendit, speret veniam. Sedtantum in Inferno erit quantum

sancti patres in Paradiso, scilicet

in aeternum. Matth. XXV, 46: ibunt 

hi in supplicium aeternum, iusti 

autem in vitam aeternam .

(2) We ought to conceive a fear of God and

avoid all presumption. We have already

seen that Christ suffered for sinners and

descended into the underworld for them.

However, He did not deliver all sinners,

but only those who were free from mortal

sin. He left there those who departed this

life in mortal sin. Hence, anyone who

descends into hell in mortal sin has no

hope of deliverance; and he will remain in

hell as long as the holy fathers remain in

paradise, that is, for all eternity: “And theseshall go into everlasting punishment; but

the just, into l ife everlasting” [Mt 25:46].

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Tertio debemus habere

solicitudinem. Nam Christus

descendit ad Inferos pro salute

nostra, et nos frequenter debemus

soliciti esse illuc descendere,

considerando scilicet poenas illas,

sicut faciebat ille sanctusEzechias, dicens, Isai. XXXVIII,

10 : ego dixi: in dimidio dierum 

meorum vadam ad portas Inferi .

Nam qui ibi frequenter per

cogitationem descendit in vita, non

descendit de facili in morte: quia

huiusmodi consideratio retrahit a

peccato. Videmus enim quod

homines huius mundi cavent sibi a

maleficiis propter temporalem

poenam: quantum ergo magis

debent sibi cavere propter poenam

Inferni, quae maior est et quantum

ad diuturnitatem, et quantum ad

acerbitatem, et quantum ad

multiplicitatem? Eccli. VII, 40:

memorare novissima tua, et in 

aeternum non peccabis .

(3) We ought to arouse in ourselves a

mental anxiety. Since Christ descended

into the underworld for our salvation, we

ought in all care go down there in spirit by

considering, for instance, its punishments

as did that holy man, Hezechiah: “I said: In

the midst of my days I shall go to the gatesof the underworld” [Is 38:10]. Indeed, he

who during this life frequently descends

into hell by thinking of it, will not easily fall

into hell at death; for such meditation

keeps one from sin, and draws one out of

it. We see how men of this world guard

themselves against wrongdoing because

of the temporal punishment; but with how

much more care ought they avoid the

punishment of hell which far exceeds all

else in its duration, its severity, and its

varied nature! “In all your works remember

your last end, and you shall never sin” [Sir


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Quarto provenit nobis ex hoc

exemplum dilectionis. Christus

enim descendit ad Inferos, ut

liberaret suos; et ideo debemus

illuc descendere, ut subveniamus

nostris. Ipsi enim nihil possunt; et

ideo debemus eis subvenire quisunt in Purgatorio. Nimis esset

durus qui non subveniret caro suo

qui esset in carcere terreno: multo

ergo magis est durus qui non

subvenit amico qui est in

Purgatorio, cum nulla sit

comparatio poenarum mundi ad

illas: Iob XIX, 21: miseremini mei,

miseremini mei, saltem vos amici 

mei, quia manus domini tetigit me .

Machab. XII, 46: sancta et salubris 

est cogitatio pro defunctis exorare 

ut a peccatis solvantur . Subvenitur

autem eis praecipue per tria, sicut

dicit Augustinus: scilicet per

Missas, orationes et eleemosynas.

Gregorius addit quartum, scilicet

ieiunium. Nec est mirum: quia

etiam in mundo isto potest amicussatisfacere pro amico.

Intelligendum est tamen hoc de

illis qui sunt in Purgatorio.

(4) There comes to us in this an example

of love. Christ descended into the

underworld in order to deliver His own;

and so we should go down there to rescue

our own. They cannot help themselves.

Therefore, let us deliver those who are in

purgatory. He would be very hard-heartedwho does not come to the aid of a relative

who is detained in an earthly prison; but

much more cruel is he who will not assist a

friend who is in purgatory, for there is no

comparison between the pains of this

world and of that: “Have pity on me, have

pity on me, at least you my friends,

because the hand of the Lord hath touched

me” [Job 19:21]. “It is therefore a holy and

wholesome thought to pray for the dead,

that they may be loosed from their sins” [2

Mac 12:46]. We may assist these souls in

three ways as St. Augustine tells us, viz.,

through Masses, prayers, and almsgiving.

St. Gregory adds a fourth, that is, fasting.

All this is not so amazing, for even in this

world a friend can pay a debt for his friend;

but this applies only to those who are in


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Duo sunt homini necessaria ad

cognoscendum: scilicet gloria Dei,

et poena Inferni. Nam per gloriam

allecti, et per poenas territi, cavent

sibi homines, et retrahuntur a

peccatis. Sed haec sunt valde

difficilia homini ad cognoscendum.Unde de gloria dicitur Sap. IX, 16:

quae in caelis sunt quis 

investigabit?   Et hoc quidem

difficile est terrenis, quia, ut dicitur

Ioan. III, 31: qui de terra est, de 

terra loquitur ; sed non est difficile

spiritualibus, quia qui de caelo 

venit, super omnes est , ut dicitur

ibidem. Et ideo Deus de caelo

descendit, et incarnatus est, ut

doceret nos caelestia. Erat etiam

difficile cognoscere poenas Inferni.

Sap. II, 1: non est qui agnitus sit 

reversus ab Inferis ; et hoc dicitur in

persona impiorum. Et hoc non

potest modo dici: quia sicut

descendit de caelo ut doceret

caelestia, ita resurrexit ab Inferis ut

nos de Inferis edoceret.

We must necessarily know two things: the

glory of God and the punishment of hell.

For being attracted by His glory and made

fearful by punishments, we take warning

and withdraw ourselves from sin. But for us

to appreciate these facts is very difficult.

Thus, it is said of God’s glory: “But thethings that are in heaven, who shall search

out?” [Wis 9:16]. For those who are worldly

minded this is indeed difficult, because “he

that is of the earth, of the earth he is, and of

the earth he speaks” [Jn 3:31]; but it is

easier for the spiritually minded, because,

“he who comes from above is above all,”

as is said in the same place. Accordingly,

God descended from heaven and became

incarnate to teach us heavenly things.

Once it was difficult to know about the

punishments of the underworld: “no one

has been known to have returned from the

underworld” [Wis 2:1], as it is said in the

person of the wicked. But this cannot be

said now, for just as Christ descended

from heaven to teach us heavenly things,

so also He came back from the region of

the underworld to teach us about it. It is,therefore, necessary that we believe not

only that Christ was made man, and died,

but also that He arose again from the

dead. Therefore, it is said in the Creed:

“The third day He arose again from the


Uniqueness of Christ’s resurrection

Et ideo necesse est ut credamus

quod non solum homo factus est,

et mortuus, sed quod resurrexit a

mortuis. Et ideo dicitur: tertia die 

resurrexit a mortuis . Invenimus

quod multi surrexerunt a mortuis,

sicut Lazarus, et filius viduae, et

filia archisynagogi. Sed resurrectio

Christi differt a resurrectione

istorum et aliorum in quatuor.

We find that many arose from the dead,

such as Lazarus [Jn 11:1-44], the son of

the widow [Lk 7:11-16], and the daughter

of the Ruler of the synagogue [Mk 5:35-43].

But the resurrection of Christ differed from

the resurrection of these and of all others

in four points.

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Primo quantum ad causam

resurrectionis, quia alii qui

surrexerunt, non surrexerunt sua

virtute, sed vel Christi, vel ad

preces alicuius sancti; Christus

vero resurrexit propria virtute, quia

non solum erat homo: sed etiamDeus, et divinitas verbi nunquam

separata fuit nec ab anima nec a

corpore; et ideo corpus animam, et

anima corpus cum voluit

resumpsit. Ioan. X, 18: potestatem 

habeo ponendi animam meam, et 

potestatem habeo iterum sumendi 

eam . Et licet mortuus fuerit, hoc

non fuit ex infirmitate nec ex

necessitate, sed virtute, quia

sponte: et hoc patet, quia cum

emisit spiritum, clamavit voce

magna: quod alii morientes

nequeunt, quia ex infirmitate

moriuntur. Unde centurio dixit,

Matth. XXVII, 54: vere filius Dei 

erat iste . Et ideo sicut sua virtute

posuit animam suam, ita sua

virtute recepit eam: et ideo dicitur,quia resurrexit , et non quod fuerit

suscitatus, quasi ab alio. Psal. III,

6 : ego dormivi, et soporatus sum,

et exsurrexi . Nec est hoc

contrarium ei quod dicitur Act. II,

32: hunc Iesum resuscitavit Deus :

nam et pater resuscitavit eum, et

filius: quia eadem est virtus patris

et filii.

(1) Christ’s resurrection differed from that

of all others in its cause. Those others who

arose did so not of their own power, but

either by the power of Christ or through the

prayers of some Saint. Christ, on the

contrary, arose by His own power,

because He was not only Man but alsoGod, and the Divinity of the Word was at

no time separated either from His soul or

from His body. Therefore, His body could,

whenever He desired, take again the soul,

and His soul the body: “I lay down My life,

that I may take it again.... And I have power

to lay it down; and I have power to take it

up again” [Jn 10:18]. Christ truly died, but

not because of weakness or of necessity

but rather of His own will entirely and by

His own power. This is seen in that

moment when He yielded up the Spirit; He

cried out with a loud voice [Mt 27:50],

which could not be true of others at the

moment of dying, because they die out of

weakness... For this the centurion said:

“Indeed, this was the Son of God” [Mt

27:54]. By that same power whereby He

gave up His soul, He received it again;and hence the Creed says, “He arose

again,” because He was not raised up as if

by anyone else. “I have slept and have

taken My rest; and I have risen up” [Ps 3:6].

Nor can this be contrary to these words,

“This Jesus God raised again” [Acts 2:32],

because both the Father and the Son

raised Him up, since one and the same

power is of the Father and the Son.

Secundo differt quantum ad vitam

ad quam resurrexit: quia Christus

ad vitam gloriosam et

incorruptibilem: apostolus, Rom.

VI, 4: Christus resurrexit a mortuis 

per gloriam patris ; alii vero ad

eandem vitam quam prius

habuerant, sicut patet de Lazaro etde aliis.

(2) Christ’s resurrection was different as

regards the life to which He arose. Christ

arose again to a glorious and incorruptible

life: “Christ is risen from the dead by the

glory of the Father” [Rom 6:4]. The others,

however, were raised to that life which

they had before, as seen of Lazarus and

the others.

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Tertio differt quantum ad fructum et

efficaciam: quia virtute

resurrectionis Christi resurgunt

omnes. Matth. XXVII, 52: multa 

corpora sanctorum quae 

dormierant, surrexerunt . Apostolus,

I Cor. XV, 20: Christus resurrexit a mortuis, primitiae dormientium .

Sed vide quod Christus per

passionem pervenit ad gloriam,

Luc. XXIV, 26: nonne sic oportuit 

pati Christum, et ita intrare in 

gloriam suam?   Ut doceat nos

qualiter ad gloriam pervenire

possimus: Act. XIV, 21: per multas 

tribulationes oportet nos intrare in 

regnum Dei .

(3) Christ’s resurrection was different also

in effect and efficacy. In virtue of the

resurrection of Christ all shall rise again:

“And many bodies of the saints that had

slept arose” [Mt 28:52]. The Apostle

declares that “Christ is risen from the dead,

the first fruits of those who sleep” [1 Cor15:20]. But also note that Christ by His

Passion arrived at glory: “Ought not Christ

to have suffered these things and so to

enter into His glory?” [Lk 24:26]. And this is

to teach us how we also may arrive at

glory: “Through many tribulations we must

enter into the kingdom of God” [Acts


Quarto differt quantum ad tempus:

quia resurrectio aliorum differtur

usque ad finem mundi nisi

aliquibus ex privilegio ante

concedatur, ut beatae virgini, et, ut

pie creditur, beato Ioanni

Evangelistae; sed Christus

resurrexit tertia die. Cuius ratio est,

quia resurrectio et mors et nativitas

Christi fuit propter nostram

salutem, et ideo tunc voluit

resurgere quando salus nostra

perficeretur. Unde si statim

resurrexisset, non fuisset creditum

quod fuisset mortuus. Item si

multum distulisset, discipuli non

remansissent in fide, et sic nullautilitas fuisset in passione sua.

Psal. XXIX, 10: quae utilitas in 

sanguine meo, dum descendo in 

corruptionem?   Et ideo die tertia

resurrexit, ut crederetur mortuus, et

ut discipuli fidem non amitterent.

(4) Christ’s resurrection was different in

point of time. Christ arose on the third day;

but the resurrection of the others is put off

until the end of the world. The reason for

this is that the resurrection and death and

nativity of Christ were “for our salvation”

[Nicene Creed], and thus He wished to rise

again at a time when it would be of profit to

us. Now, if He had risen immediately, it

would not have been believed that He

died; and similarly, if He had put it off until

much later, the disciples would not have

remained in their belief, and there would

have been no benefit from His Passion. He

arose again, therefore, on the third day, so

that it would be believed that He died, and

His disciples would not lose faith in him.


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Possumus autem ex his quatuor

ad nostram eruditionem accipere.

Primo ut studeamus resurgere

spiritualiter a morte animae, quam

incurrimus per peccatum, ad vitam

iustitiae, quae habetur per

poenitentiam. Apostolus, Ephes.V, 14: surge qui dormis, et exurge 

a mortuis; et illuminabit te Christus .

Et haec est resurrectio prima.

Apoc. XX, 6: beatus qui habet 

partem in resurrectione prima .

From all this we can take four things for our

instruction. Firstly, let us endeavor to arise

spiritually, from the death of the soul which

we incur by our sins, to that life of justice

which is had through penance: “Rise, you

who sleep, and arise from the dead; and

Christ shall enlighten you” [Eph 5:14]. Thisis the first resurrection: “Blessed and holy

is he who has part in the first resurrection”

[Rev 20:6].

Secundo quod non differamus

resurgere usque ad mortem, sed

cito: quia Christus resurrexit tertiadie. Eccli. V, 8: ne tardes converti 

ad dominum, et ne differas de die 

in diem : quia non poteris cogitare

quae pertinent ad salutem

infirmitate gravatus; et quia etiam

perdis partem omnium bonorum

quae fiunt in Ecclesia, et multa

mala incurris ex perseverantia in

peccato. Diabolus etiam quanto

diutius possidet, tanto difficilius

dimittit, ut dicit Beda.

Secondly, let us not delay to rise until our

death, but do it at once, since Christ arose

on the third day: “Delay not to be convertedto the Lord; and defer it not from day to

day” [Sir 5:8]. You will not be able to

consider what pertains to salvation when

weighed down by illness, and, moreover,

by persevering in sin, you will lose part of

all the good which is done in the Church,

and you will incur many evils. Indeed, the

longer you possess the devil, the harder it

is to put him away, as St. Bede tells us.

Tertio ut resurgamus ad vitam

incorruptibilem; ut scilicet non

iterum moriamur, idest in tali

proposito quod ultra non

peccemus. Rom. VI, 9: Christus 

resurgens ex mortuis, iam non 

moritur; mors illi ultra non 

dominabitur ; et infra, 11-13: ita et 

vos existimate vos mortuos 

quidem esse peccato, viventes 

autem Deo in Christo Iesu. Non 

ergo regnet peccatum in vestro 

mortali corpore, ut obediatis 

concupiscentiis eius; sed neque 

exhibeatis membra vestra arma 

iniquitatis peccato; sed exhibete 

vos Deo tanquam ex mortuis 

viventes .

Thirdly, let us rise up again to an

incorruptible life in that we may not die

again, but resolve to sin no more:

“Knowing that Christ, rising again from the

dead, dies now no more. Death shall no

more have dominion over Him.... So do

you also reckon that you are dead to sin,

but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our

Lord. Neither yield ye your members as

instruments of iniquity unto sin; but present

yourselves to God, as those that are alive

from the dead” [Rom 6:9,11-14].

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Quarto ut resurgamus ad vitam

novam et gloriosam; ut scilicet

vitemus omnia quae prius fuerant

occasiones et causa mortis et

peccati. Rom. VI, 4: quomodo 

Christus surrexit a mortuis per 

gloriam patris, ita et nos in novitate vitae ambulemus . Et haec nova

vita est vita iustitiae, quae innovat

animam, et perducit ad vitam

gloriae. Amen.

Fourthly, let us rise again to a new and

glorious life by avoiding all that which

formerly were the occasions and the

causes of our death and sin: “As Christ is

risen from the dead by the glory of the

Father, so we also may walk in newness of

life” [Rom 6:4]. This new life is the life of justice which renews the soul and leads it

to the life of glory.


ascendit ad caelos, sedetad dexteram Dei Patris


“He ascended into heaven,and sits at the right hand of

God, the Father Almighty.”

Post Christi resurrectionem oportet

credere eius ascensionem, qua in

caelum ascendit die quadragesima. Et

ideo dicit: ascendit ad caelos . Circa

quod debes notare tria. Primo scilicetquod fuit sublimis, rationalis, et utilis.

Besides the resurrection of Christ, we

must also believe in His ascension; for

He ascended into heaven on the

fortieth day. Hence, the Creed says:

“He ascended into heaven.”Concerning this we ought to observe

three things, viz., that it was sublime,

reasonable, and beneficial.

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Sublimis quidem fuit, quia ascendit ad

caelos. Et hoc tripliciter exponitur.

Primo super omnes caelos corporeos.

Apostolus, Ephes. IV, 10: ascendit 

super omnes caelos . Et hoc primo

incepit in Christo: nam antea corpus

terrenum non erat nisi in terra, intantumut etiam Adam fuerit in Paradiso

terrestri. Secundo ascendit super

omnes caelos spirituales, scilicet

naturas spirituales. Ephes. I, 20:

constituens Iesum ad dexteram suam 

in caelestibus super omnem 

principatum et potestatem et virtutem et 

dominationem, et omne nomen quod 

nominatur non solum in hoc saeculo,

sed etiam in futuro; et omnia subiecit 

sub pedibus eius . Tertio ascendit

usque ad sedem patris. Dan. VII, 13:

ecce cum nubibus caeli quasi filius 

hominis veniebat, et usque ad 

antiquum dierum pervenit ; et Marc. ult.,

1 9 : et dominus quidem Iesus,

postquam locutus est eis, assumptus 

est in caelum, et sedet a dextris Dei .

Non autem accipitur in Deo dexteracorporaliter, sed metaphorice: quia

inquantum Deus, dicitur sedere ad

dexteram patris, idest ad aequalitatem

patris; inquantum homo, sedet ad

dexteram patris, idest in potioribus

bonis. Hoc autem affectavit Diabolus.

Isai. XIV, 13: in caelum conscendam,

super astra Dei exaltabo solium meum; 

sedebo in monte testamenti, in lateribus Aquilonis; ascendam super 

altitudinem nubium, similis ero 

altissimo . Sed non pervenit nisi

Christus; ideo dicitur: ascendit in 

caelum, sedet ad dexteram patris .

Psal. CIX, 1: dixit dominus domino 

meo: sede a dextris meis .

It was certainly sublime that Christ

ascended into heaven. This is

expounded in three ways. Firstly, He

ascended above the physical heaven:

“He... ascended above all the

heavens” [Eph 4:10]. Secondly, He

ascended above all the spiritualheavens, i.e., spiritual natures:

“Raising [Jesus] up from the dead and

setting Him on His right hand in the

heavenly places. Above all principality

and power and virtue and dominion

and every name that is named, not

only in this world but also in that which

is to come. And He subjected all

things under His feet” [Eph 1:20-22].

Thirdly, He ascended up to the very

throne of the Father: “Lo, one like the

Son of man came with the clouds of

heaven. And He came to the Ancient

of days” [Dan 7:13]. “And the Lord

Jesus, after He had spoken to them,

was taken up into heaven and sat at

the right hand of God” [Mk 16:19].

Now, it is not to be taken in the literal

sense, but figuratively, that Christ is atthe right hand of God. Inasmuch as

Christ is God, He is said to sit at the

right hand of the Father, that is, in

equality with the Father; and as Christ

is man, He sits at the right hand of the

Father, that is, in a more preferable

place. The devil once feigned to do

this: “I will ascend above the height of

the clouds. I will be like the Most High”[Is 14:13-14]. But Christ alone

succeeded in this, and so it is said:

“He ascended into heaven, and sits at

the right hand of the Father.” “The Lord

said to my Lord: Sit You at My right

hand” [Ps 109:1].

Secundo Christi ascensio fuitrationalis,

The Ascension of Christ into heaven isin accord with reason:

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quia ad caelos: et hoc propter tria.

Primo quia caelum debebatur Christo

ex sua natura. Naturale enim est ut

unumquodque revertatur unde trahit

originem. Principium autem originis

Christi est a Deo, qui est super omnia.

Ioan. XVI, 28: exivi a patre, et veni in mundum: iterum relinquo mundum, et 

vado ad patrem . Ioan. III, 13: nemo 

ascendit in caelum, nisi qui descendit 

de caelo, filius hominis qui est in caelo .

Et licet sancti in caelum ascendant,

non tamen sicut Christus: quia Christus

sua virtute, sancti vero attracti a

Christo. Cant. I, 3: trahe me post te . Vel

potest dici quia nemo ascendit in

caelum nisi Christus: quia sancti non

ascendunt nisi inquantum sunt

membra Christi, qui est caput

Ecclesiae. Matth. XXIV, 28: ubicumque 

fuerit corpus, illuc congregabuntur et 

aquilae .

(1) because heaven was due to Christ

by His very nature. It is natural for one

to return to that place from whence he

takes his origin. The beginning of

Christ is from God, who is above all

things: “I came forth from the Father

and am come into the world; again Ileave the world and I go to the Father”

[Jn 16:28]. “No man ascended into

heaven, but He who descended from

heaven, the Son of man who is in

heaven.” [Jn 3:13] The just ascend into

heaven, but not in the manner that

Christ ascended, i.e., by His own

power; for they are taken up by Christ:

“Draw me, we will run after You” [Sg

1:3]. Or, indeed, we can say that no

man but Christ has ascended into

heaven, because the just do not

ascend except in so far as they are the

members of Christ who is the head of

the Church. “Wherever the body shall

be, there shall the eagles also be

gathered together” [Mt 24:28].

Secundo debebatur Christo caelum ex

sua victoria. Nam Christus est in

mundum missus ad pugnandum contra

Diabolum, et vicit eum; et ideo meruit

exaltari super omnia. Apoc. III, 21: ego 

vici, et sedi cum patre meo in throno 

eius .

(2) Heaven is due to Christ because of

His victory. For He was sent into the

world to combat the devil, and He did

overcome him. Therefore, Christ

deserved to be exalted above all

things: “I also have overcome and am

set down with My Father in His throne”

[Rev 3:21].

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Tertio ex sui humilitate. Nulla enim

humilitas est ita magna sicut humilitas

Christi, qui cum esset Deus, voluit fieri

homo, et cum esset dominus, voluit

formam servi accipere, factus obediens 

usque ad mortem , ut dicitur Phil. II, et

descendit usque ad Infernum: et ideomeruit exaltari usque ad caelum ad

sedem Dei. Nam humilitas via est ad

exaltationem: Luc. XIV, 11: qui se 

humiliat, exaltabitur ; Ephes. IV, 10: qui 

descendit, ipse est et qui ascendit 

super omnes caelos .

(3) The Ascension is reasonable

because of the humility of Christ.

There never was humility so great as

that of Christ, who, although He was

God, yet wished to become man; and

although He was the Lord, yet wished

to take the form of a servant, and, asSt. Paul says: “He was made obedient

unto death” [Phil 2:8], and descended

even into the underworld. For this He

deserved to be exalted even to

heaven and to the throne of God, for

humility leads to exaltation: “He who

humbles himself shall be exalted” [Lk

14:11]. “He who descended is the

same also who ascended above all

the heavens” [Eph 4:10].

Tertio Christi ascensio fuit utilis; et hoc

quantum ad tria. Primo quantum ad

ductum: nam ad hoc ascendit ut nos

duceret. Nos enim nesciebamus viam,

sed ipse ostendit: Mich. II, 13: ascendit,

iter pandens ante eos . Et ut nos

securos redderet de possessione regni

caelestis: Ioan. XIV, 2: vado parare 

vobis locum . Secundo quantum ad

securitatem. Ad hoc enim ascendit ut

interpellaret pro nobis: Hebr. VII, 25:

accedens per semetipsum ad Deum 

semper vivens ad interpellandum pro 

nobis ; I Ioan. II, 1: advocatum habemus 

apud patrem Iesum Christum . Tertio ut

ad se corda nostra traheret. Matth. VI,

21: ubi est thesaurus tuus, ibi est et cor tuum ; ut contemnamus temporalia:

apostolus, Coloss. III, 1: si 

consurrexistis cum Christo, quae 

sursum sunt quaerite ubi Christus est 

in dextera Dei sedens; quae sursum 

sunt sapite, non quae super terram .

The Ascension of Christ was very

beneficial for us. This is seen three

ways. Firstly, as our Leader, because

He ascended in order to lead us; for

we had lost the way, but He has

shown it to us. “For He who opens the

breach shall go up before them”

[Micah 2:13]. and thus we may be

made certain of possessing the

heavenly kingdom: “I go to prepare a

place for you” [Jn 14:2]. Secondly, that

He might draw our hearts to Himself:

“For where your treasure is, there is

your heart so” [Mt 6:21]. Thirdly, to let

us withdraw from worldly things:

“Therefore, if you be risen with Christ,

seek the things that are above, whereChrist is sitting at the right hand of

God. Mind the things that are above,

not the things that are upon the earth”

[Col 3:1].


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inde venturus est

iudicare vivos et


“From thence He shall come to

 judge the living and the dead.”

Ad officium regis et domini spectat

iudicare. Prov. XX, 8: rex qui sedet in solio iudicii, dissipat omne 

malum intuitu suo . Quia ergo

Christus ascendit in caelum, et

sedet ad dexteram Dei sicut

dominus omnium, manifestum est

quod spectat ad eum iudicium. Et

ideo in regula Catholicae fidei

confitemur quod venturus est 

iudicare vivos et mortuos . Hocetiam dixerunt Angeli Act. I, 11: hic 

Iesus, qui assumptus est a vobis in 

caelum, sic veniet quemadmodum 

vidistis eum euntem in caelum .

It is of the office of the King and Lord to

pronounce judgment: “The king who sitson the throne of judgment scatters away all

evil with His look” [Prov 20:8]. Since

Christ, therefore, ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God as Lord of

all, it is clear that His is the office of Judge.

For this reason we say in the rule of

Catholic faith that “He shall come to judge

the living and the dead.” Indeed the Angels

have said that: “This Jesus who has beentaken up from you into heaven shall come

again as you have seen Him going into

heaven” [Acts 1:11].

Sunt autem tria consideranda de

hoc iudicio. Primum est forma

iudicii; secundum est quod

iudicium hoc est timendum; tertiumest qualiter praeparemus nos ad

hoc iudicium.

We shall consider three facts about the

 judgment: (1) the form of the judgment; (2)

the fear of the judgment; (3) our

preparation for the judgment.

The form of the judgment

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Quo ad formam iudicii tria

concurrunt: scilicet quis sit iudex,

qui iudicandi, et de quibus sit.

Christus autem est iudex. Act. X,

42: ipse est qui constitutus est a 

Deo iudex vivorum et mortuorum :

sive accipiamus per mortuospeccatores, et per vivos recte

viventes; sive per vivos ad litteram

illos qui tunc vivent, et per mortuos

omnes qui mortui sunt. Est autem

iudex non solum inquantum Deus,

sed etiam inquantum homo: et hoc

propter tria. Primo quia

necessarium est ut iudicandi

iudicem videant. Divinitas autem

est ita delectabilis quod nullus

potest sine gaudio eam videre; et

ideo nullus damnatus poterit eam

videre, quia tunc gauderet. Et ideo

necesse est ut appareat in forma

hominis, ut ab omnibus videatur.

Ioan. V, 27: potestatem dedit ei 

iudicium facere, quia filius hominis 

est . Secundo quia ipse meruit hoc

officium, secundum quod homo.Ipse enim secundum quod homo,

fuit iniuste iudicatus, et ex hoc

Deus fecit eum iudicem totius

mundi. Iob XXXVI, 17: causa tua 

quasi impii iudicata est: causam 

iudiciumque recipies . Tertio ut

cesset desperatio ab hominibus, si

ab homine iudicantur. Si enim

solus Deus iudicaret, hominesterriti desperarent. Luc. XXI, 27:

videbunt filium hominis venientem 

in nube .

Now, concerning the form of the judgment

there is a threefold question. Who is the

 judge, who are to be judged, and upon

what will they be judged? Christ is the

Judge: “It is He who is appointed by God to

be judge of the living and of the dead”

[Acts 10:42]. We may here interpret “thedead” to mean sinners and “the living” to

mean the just; or “the living” to refer to

those who at that time were living and “the

dead” to mean those who had died. Christ

of a certain is Judge, not only in that He is

God, but also in that He is man. The first

reason for this is because it is necessary

that they who are to be judged may see the

Judge. But the Godhead is so wholly

delightful that no one could behold it

without great enjoyment; and hence the

damned are not permitted to see the

Judge, nor in consequence to enjoy

anything. Christ, therefore, of necessity will

appear in the form of man so that He may

be seen by all: “And He has given Him

power to do judgment, because He is the

Son of man” [Jn 5:27]. Again Christ

deserved this office as Man, for as Man Hewas unjustly judged, and therefore God

constitutes Him Judge of the entire world:

“Your cause has been judged as that of the

wicked. Cause and judgment You shall

recover” [Job 36:17]. And, lastly, if God

alone should judge men, they, being

terrified, would despair; but this despair

disappears from men if they are to be

 judged by a Man: “And then they shall seethe Son of man coming in a cloud” [Lk


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Iudicandi vero sunt omnes qui

sunt, fuerunt et erunt. Apostolus, II

Cor. V, 10: omnes nos manifestari 

oportet ante tribunal Christi, ut 

referat unusquisque propria 

corporis, prout gessit, sive bonum 

sive malum . Est autem, sicut dicitGregorius, quadruplex differentia

inter iudicandos. Aut enim

iudicandi sunt boni aut mali.

All are to be judged—those who are, who

were, and who will be: “We must all be

manifested before the judgment seat of

Christ, that every one may receive the

proper things of the body, according as he

hath done, whether it be good or evil” [2

Cor 5:10]. There are, says St. Gregory, fourdifferent classes of people to be judged.

The chief difference is between the good

and the wicked.

Malorum autem quidam

condemnabuntur, sed non

iudicabuntur; sicut infideles;

quorum facta non discutientur,

quia qui non credit iam iudicatus est , ut dicitur Ioan. III, 18. Quidam

vero condemnabuntur et

iudicabuntur, sicut fideles, qui

decesserunt cum peccato mortali.

Apostolus, Rom. VI, 23: stipendia 

peccati mors : non enim

excludentur a iudicio propter fidem

quam habuerunt.

Of the wicked, some will be condemned

but not judged. They are the infidels

whose works are not to be discussed

because, as St. John says: “He who does

not believe is already judged” [Jn 3:18].Others will be both condemned and

 judged. They are those possessing the

faith who departed this life in mortal sin:

“For the wages of sin is death” [Rm 6:23].

They shall not be excluded from the

 judgment because of the faith which they


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Bonorum etiam quidam

salvabuntur et non iudicabuntur,

pauperes scilicet spiritu propter

Deum; quinimmo alios iudicabunt.

Matth. XIX, 28: vos qui secuti estis 

me, in regeneratione, cum sederit 

filius hominis in sede maiestatis suae, sedebitis et vos super sedes 

duodecim, iudicantes duodecim 

tribus Israel : quod quidem non

solum intelligitur de discipulis, sed

etiam de omnibus pauperibus;

alias Paulus, qui plus aliis

laboravit, non esset de numero

illorum. Et ideo intelligendum est

etiam de omnibus sequentibus

apostolos, et de apostolicis viris.

Ideo apostolus, I Cor. VI, 3: (an)

nescitis quoniam Angelos 

iudicabimus?   Isai. III, 14: dominus 

ad iudicium veniet cum senibus 

populi sui et principibus eius .

Of the good also, some will be saved and

shall not be judged. They are the poor in

spirit for God’s sake who rather shall judge

others: “Amen, I say to you that you, who

have followed Me, in the regeneration

when the Son of man shall sit on the seat

of His majesty, you also shall sit on twelveseats judging the twelve tribes of Israel”

[Mt 19:28]. Now, this is not to be

understood only of the disciples, but of all

those who are poor in spirit; for otherwise

Paul, who labored more than others, would

not be among this number. These words,

therefore, must refer also to all the

followers of the apostles and to all

apostolic men: “Know you not that we shall

 judge Angels? [1 Cor 6:3]. “The Lord will

enter into judgment with the ancients of

His people and its princes” [Is 3:14].

Quidam autem salvabuntur et

iudicabuntur, scilicet morientes in

iustitia. Licet enim in iustitia

decesserint, in occupatione tamen

temporalium in aliquo lapsi sunt; et

ideo iudicabuntur sed salvabuntur.

Iudicabuntur autem de omnibus

factis, bonis et malis. Eccle. XI, 9:

ambula in viis cordis tui (...) et scito 

quod pro omnibus his adducet te 

Deus in iudicium . Eccli. XII, 14:

cuncta quae fiunt, adducet Deus in iudicium pro omni errato, sive 

bonum sive malum sit . De verbis

etiam otiosis: Matth. XII, 36: omne 

verbum otiosum quod locuti fuerint 

homines, reddent rationem de eo 

in die iudicii . De cogitationibus:

Sap. I, 9: in cogitationibus impii 

interrogatio erit .

Others shall both be saved and judged,

that is, they who die in a state of

righteousness. For although they departed

this life in justice, nevertheless they fell

somewhat amiss in the business of

temporal matters, and hence shall be

 judged but saved. The judgment will be

upon all their deeds good and bad: “Walk

in the ways of your heart,... and know that

for all these God will bring you into

 judgment” [Eccles 11:9]. “And all things

that are done, God will bring into judgmentfor every error, whether it be good or evil”

[Eccles 12:14]. Even idle words shall be

 judged: “But I say to you that every idle

word that men shall speak, they shall

render an account for it in the day of

 judgment” [Mt 12:36]. And thoughts also:

“For inquisition shall be made into the

thought of the ungodly” [Wis 1:9]. Thus, the

form of the judgment is clear.

The fear of the judgment

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Et sic patet forma iudicii. Est autem

iudicium illud timendum propter

quatuor. Primo propter iudicis

sapientiam. Scit enim omnia, et

cogitationes et locutiones et

operationes: quoniam omnia nuda 

et aperta sunt oculis eius , ut diciturHebr. IV, 13. Prov. XVI, 2: omnes 

viae hominum patent oculis eius .

Ipse etiam scit verba nostra: Sap. I,

10 : auris zeli audit omnia . Item

cogitationes nostras: Ierem. XVII,

9 : pravum est cor hominis et 

inscrutabile: quis cognoscet illud? 

Ego dominus scrutans corda et 

probans renes, qui do unicuique 

iuxta viam suam, et iuxta fructum 

adinventionum suarum . Ibi erunt

testes infallibiles, scilicet propriae

hominum conscientiae: apostolus,

Rom. II, 15-16: testimonium 

reddente illis conscientia ipsorum,

et inter se invicem cogitationum 

accusantium, aut etiam 

defendentium in die cum iudicabit 

Deus occulta hominum .

The judgment ought indeed to be feared.

(a) Because of the wisdom of the Judge.

God knows all things, our thoughts, words

and deeds, and “all things are naked and

open to his eyes.[Heb 4:13]. “All the ways

of men are open to His eyes” [Prov 16:2].

He knows our words: “The ear of jealousyhears all things” [Wis 1:10]. Also our

thoughts: “The heart is perverse above all

things and unsearchable. Who can know

it? I am the Lord, who search the heart and

prove the reins; who give to every one

according to his way and according to the

fruit of his devices” [Jer 17:9-10]. There will

be infallible witnesses— men’s own

consciences: “Who show the work of the

law written in their hearts, their conscience

bearing witness to them; and their thoughts

between themselves accusing or also

defending one another, in the day when

God shall judge the secrets of men” [Rm


Secundo propter iudicis potentiam,

quia omnipotens est in se. Isai. XL,

1 0 : ecce dominus Deus in 

fortitudine veniet . Item omnipotens

est in aliis, quia omnis creatura erit

cum eo. Sap. V, 21: pugnabit cum 

illo orbis terrarum contra 

insensatos ; et ideo dicebat Iob X,7 : cum sit nemo qui de manu tua 

possit eruere . Psal. CXXXVIII, 8: si 

ascendero in caelum, tu illic es; si 

descendero in Infernum, ades .

(b) Because of the power of the Judge,

who is almighty in Himself: “Behold, the

Lord God will come with strength” [Is

40:10]. And also almighty in others: “The

whole world shall fight with Him against

the unwise” [Wis 5:21]. Hence, Job says:

“Whereas there is no man that can deliver

out of your hand” [Job 10:7]. “If I ascendinto heaven, You are there; if I descend

into the underworld, You art present,” says

the Psalmist.[Ps 138:8].

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Tertio propter iudicis inflexibilem

iustitiam. Nunc enim est tempus

misericordiae; sed tempus futurum

erit solum tempus iustitiae: et ideo

nunc est tempus nostrum, sed tunc

erit solum tempus Dei. Psal.

LXXIV, 3: cum accepero tempus,ego iustitias iudicabo . Prov. VI, 34:

zelus et furor viri non parcet in die 

vindictae, nec acquiescet 

cuiusquam precibus, nec suscipiet 

pro redemptione dona plurima .

(c) Because of the inflexible justice of the

Judge. The present is the time for mercy;

but the future is the time solely for justice;

and so the present is our time, but the

future is God’s time: “When I shall take a

time, I shall judge justices” [Ps 74:3

Vulgate]. “The jealousy and rage of thehusband will not spare in the day of

revenge. Nor will he yield to any man’s

prayers; nor will he accept for satisfaction

ever so many gifts” [Prov 6:34-35].

Quarto propter iudicis iram. Aliter

enim apparebit iustis, quia dulcis

et delectabilis: Isai. XXXIII, 17:regem in decore suo videbunt ;

aliter malis, quia iratus et crudelis,

intantum ut dicant montibus: cadite 

super nos, et abscondite nos ab ira 

agni , ut dicitur Apoc. VI, 16. Haec

autem ira non dicit in Deo

commotionem animi, sed effectum

irae, poenam scilicet peccatoribus

inflictam, scilicet aeternalem.

Origenes: quam angustae erunt 

peccatoribus viae in iudicio.

Desuper erit iudex iratus , et cetera.

(d) Because of the anger of the Judge. He

shall appear in different ways to the just

and to the wicked. To the just, He will bepleasant and gracious: “They will behold

the King of beauty” [Is 33:17]. To the

wicked He will be angry and pitiless, so

that they may say to the mountains: “Fall

upon us and hide us from the wrath of the

Lamb” [Rev 6:16]. But this anger of God

does not bespeak in Him any perturbation

of soul, but rather the effect of His anger

which is the eternal punishment inflicted

upon sinners.

Our preparation for the judgment

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Contra autem hunc timorem

debemus quatuor habere remedia.

Primum est bona operatio.

Apostolus, Rom. XIII, 3: vis non 

timere potestatem? Bonum fac, et 

habebis laudem ex illa . Secundum

est confessio et poenitentia decommissis: in qua tria debent

esse: scilicet dolor in cogitatione,

pudor in confessione, et acerbitas

in satisfactione: quae quidem

expiant poenam aeternam. Tertium

est eleemosyna, quae omnia

mundat. Luc. XVI, 9: facite vobis 

amicos de mammona iniquitatis,

ut, cum defeceritis, recipiant vos in 

aeterna tabernacula . Quartum est

caritas, scilicet amor Dei et

proximi: quae quidem caritas

operit multitudinem peccatorum, ut

dicitur I Petr. IV, et Prov. X.

Now, against this fear of the judgment we

ought to have four remedies. The first is

good works: “Will you then not be afraid of

the power? Do what is good, and you shall

have praise from the same” [Rm 13:3]. The

second is confession and repentance for

sins committed; and this ought to includesorrow in thinking of hem, feeling of shame

in confessing them, and all severity in

making satisfaction for them. And these

will take away the eternal punishment. The

third is giving of alms, which makes all

things clean: “Make friends of the mammon

of iniquity; that when you fail, they may

receive you into everlasting dwellings” [Lk

16:9]. The fourth is charity, viz., the love of

God and our neighbor, for “charity covers a

multitude of sins” [1 Pt 4:8].


Credo in Spiritum


“I Believe in the Holy Spirit.”

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Sicut dictum est, verbum Dei est

filius Dei, sicut verbum hominis est

conceptio intellectus. Sed

quandoque homo habet verbum

mortuum, scilicet quando homo

cogitat quae debet facere, sed

tamen voluntas faciendi non adestei; sicut quando homo credit et non

operatur, fides eius dicitur mortua, ut

dicitur Iac. II. Verbum autem Dei est

vivum. Hebr. IV, 12: vivus est enim 

sermo Dei ; et ideo necesse est quod

Deus habeat secum voluntatem et

amorem. Unde Augustinus in Lib. de

T r i n . : verbum quod insinuare 

intendimus, cum amore notitia est .

Sicut autem verbum Dei est filius

Dei, ita amor Dei est spiritus

sanctus. Et inde est quod tunc homo

habet spiritum sanctum, quando

diligit Deum. Apostolus, Rom. V, 5:

caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus 

nostris per spiritum sanctum, qui 

datus est nobis .

As we have said, the Word of God is the

Son of God just as in a way the word of

man is the concept of his intellect. But

sometimes man has a word which is

dead. This is when, for instance, he

conceives what he ought to do, but he

has not the will to do it; or when onebelieves but does not practise; then his

faith is said to be dead, as St. James

points out [2:17]. The word of God,

however, is alive: “For the word of God is

living” [Hb 4:12]. It is necessary,

therefore, that in God there be will and

love. Thus, St. Augustine says: “The

word of God which we plan to speak is

knowledge with love” [De Trinitate   IX,

10]. Now, as the Word of God is the Son

of God, God’s love is the Holy Spirit.

Hence, it is that one possesses the Holy

Spirit when he loves God: “The charity of

God is poured forth in our hearts, by the

Holy Spirit who is given to us” [Rm 5:5].

Fuerunt autem aliqui qui male

sentientes de spiritu sancto, dixerunt

quod erat creatura, et quod erat

minor patre et filio, et quod erat

servus et minister Dei. Et ideo sancti

ad removendum hos errores

addiderunt quinque verba in alio

symbolo de spiritu sancto.

There are some who held false opinions

concerning the Holy Spirit. They said, for

instance, that He was only the servant

and minister of God. Hence, to remove

these errors the holy Fathers added [in

the Nicene Creed] five phrases

concerning the Holy Spirit.

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Primum est, quod licet sint alii

spiritus, scilicet Angeli, sunt tamen

ministri Dei, secundum illud apostoli,

Hebr. I, 14: omnes sunt 

administratorii spiritus ; sed spiritus

sanctus dominus est: Ioan. IV, 24:

spiritus est Deus ; et apostolus, IICor. III, 17: dominus autem spiritus 

est ; et inde est quod ubi est spiritus

domini, ibi est libertas, ut dicitur II

Cor. III. Cuius ratio est, quia facit

diligere Deum, et aufert amorem

mundi. Et ideo dicitur: in spiritum 

sanctum dominum .

“The Holy Spirit, the Lord.”—The first is,

that although there are other spirits, such

as the Angels who are ministers of God.

“Art they not all ministering spirits?” [Hb

1:14], nevertheless the Holy ,Spirit is the

Lord. “God is a Spirit” [Jn 4:24] and,

“Now the Lord is a Spirit” [2 Cor 3:17],and also, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is,

there is liberty” [2 Cor 3:11]. The reason

is that He makes us love God and cease

to love the world. Thus, the Creed says:

“In the Holy Spirit, the Lord.”

Secundum est quia in hoc est vitaanimae quod coniungitur Deo, cum

ipse Deus sit vita animae, sicut

anima vita corporis. Deo autem

coniungit spiritus sanctus per

amorem, quia ipse est amor Dei, et

ideo vivificat. Ioan. VI, 64: spiritus est 

qui vivificat . Unde dicitur: et 

vivificantem .

“And Giver of life.”—The second phraseis there because the soul’s life is to be

united to God, inasmuch as God is the

life of the soul, and as truly as the soul is

the life of the body. Now, the Holy Spirit

unites the soul to God through love,

because He is the love of God, and

therefore He gives life. “It is the spirit who

gives life” [Jn 6:64]. Therefore, it is said:

“and Giver of life.”

Tertium est quod spiritus sanctus est

eiusdem substantiae cum patre et

filio: quia sicut filius est verbum

patris, ita spiritus sanctus est amor

patris et filii; et ideo procedit ab

utroque; et sicut verbum Dei est

eiusdem substantiae cum patre, ita

et amor cum patre et filio. Et ideo

dicitur: qui ex patre filioque procedit .

Unde et per hoc patet quod non est


“Who proceeds from the Father and the

Son.”—The third is that the Holy Spirit is

one in substance with the Father and the

Son; because as the Son is the Word of

the Father, so the Holy Spirit is the love

both of the Father and the Son, and,

therefore, He proceeds from them both.

Moreover, just as the Word of God is of

the same substance as the Father, so

also is Love [Holy Spirit]. of the same

substance as the Father and the Son.

Hence, it is said: “who proceeds from the

Father and the Son.” From this it is seen

that the Holy Spirit is not a Creature.

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Quartum est quod est aequalis patri

et filio quantum ad cultum. Ioan. IV,

2 3 : veri adoratores adorabunt 

patrem in spiritu et veritate . Matth.

ult., 19: docete omnes gentes,

baptizantes eos in nomine patris et 

filii et spiritus sancti . Et ideo dicitur:qui cum patre et filio simul adoratur .

“Who... is Adored and Glorified.”—The

fourth phrase is that the Holy Spirit as

regards adoration is equal to the Father

and the Son: “The true adorers shall

adore the Father in spirit and truth” [Jn

4:23]. “Teach all nations; baptizing them

in the name of the Father and of the Sonand of the Holy Spirit” [Mt 28:19]. Hence,

it is said: “Who together with the Father

and the Son is adored.”

Quintum, per quod manifestatur

quod sit aequalis Deo, est quia

sancti prophetae locuti sunt a Deo.

Constat autem quod si spiritus non

esset Deus, non diceretur quodprophetae fuerint locuti ab eo. Sed

Petrus dicit (Epist. II, cap. I, 21),

quod spiritu sancto inspirati locuti 

sunt sancti Dei homines . Isai. XLVIII,

1 6 : dominus Deus misit me, et 

spiritus eius . Unde hic dicitur: qui 

locutus est per prophetas .

“Who Spoke through the Prophets.”—

The fifth phrase, wherein the Holy Spirit

is declared equal to God, is that the holy

prophets spoke on behalf of God. It is

clear that, if the Holy Spirit were not God,then it would not be said that the

prophets had spoken of God on His

behalf. Thus, says St. Peter: “The holy

men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy

Spirit” [2 Pt 1:21]. Also: “The Lord God

sent me, and His Spirit” [Is 48:16]. And

so it is said: “Who spoke through the


Per hoc autem destruuntur duo

errores: error scil icet Manichaeorum,

qui dixerunt, quod vetus

testamentum non erat a Deo: quod

falsum est, quia per prophetas

locutus est spiritus sanctus. Item

error Priscillae et Montani, qui

dixerunt quod prophetae non sunt

locuti a spiritu sancto, sed quasi


In all this two errors are condemned. The

Manicheans said that the Old Testament

was not from God. But this is false

because the Holy Spirit spoke through

the prophets. Likewise, the error of

Priscillian and Montanus was that they

believed that the prophets did not speak

by the Holy Spirit but were somewhat

beside themselves.


Provenit autem nobis multiplex

fructus a spiritu sancto. Primo quia

purgat a peccatis.

Many benefits come to us from the Holy


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Cuius ratio est, quia eiusdem est

reficere cuius est constituere. Anima

autem creatur per spiritum sanctum,

quia omnia per ipsum facit Deus.

Deus enim diligendo suam

bonitatem causat omnia. Sap. XI, 25:

diligis omnia quae sunt, et nihil odisti eorum quae fecisti . Dionysius

in 4 cap. de divinis nominibus:

divinus amor non permisit eum sine 

germine esse . Oportet ergo quod

corda hominum per peccatum

destructa reficiantur a spiritu sancto.

Psal. CIII, 30: emitte spiritum tuum et 

creabuntur, et renovabis faciem 

terrae . Nec mirum si spiritus purgat,

quia omnia peccata dimittuntur per

amorem: Luc. VII, 47: dimissa sunt ei 

peccata multa, quoniam dilexit 

multum . Prov. X, 12: universa delicta 

operit caritas ; item I Petr. IV, 8:

caritas operit multitudinem 

peccatorum .

(1) He cleanses us from our sins. The

reason is that one must repair that which

one has made. Now, the soul is created

by the Holy Spirit, because God has

made all things through Him; for God, by

loving His goodness, created everything:

“You love all things that are, and hatenone of the things which You made” [Wis

11:25]. Thus, Dionysius says: “Divine

love did not permit Him to be without

offspring” [Div nom.  IV, 20]. It is

necessary, therefore, that the hearts of

men, destroyed by sin, be made anew by

the Holy Spirit: “Send forth your Spirit,

and they shall be created; and You shall

renew the face of the earth” [Ps 103:30].

Nor is it any wonder that the Spirit

cleanses, since all sins are taken away

by love: “Many sins are forgiven her,

because she has loved much” [Lk 7:47].

“Charity covers all sins” [Prov 10:12].

And likewise: “Charity covers a multitude

of sins” [1 Pt 4:8].

Secundo illuminat intellectum, quia

omnia quae scimus, a spiritu sancto

scimus. Ioan. XIV, 26: Paraclytus 

autem spiritus sanctus, quem mittet 

pater in nomine meo, ille vos docebit 

omnia, et suggeret vobis omnia 

quaecumque dixero vobis . Item I

Ioan. II, 27: unctio docebit vos de 

omnibus .

(2) The Holy Spirit enlightens the

intellect, since all that we know, we know

through the Holy Spirit: “But the

Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the

Father will send in My name, He will

teach you all things and bring all things

to your mind, whatsoever I shall have

said to you” [Jn 14:26]. Also: “His unction

teaches you all things” [1 Jn 2:27].

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Tertio iuvat, et quodammodo cogit

servare mandata. Nullus enim

posset servare mandata Dei, nisi

amaret Deum: Ioan. XIV, 23: si quis 

diligit me, sermonem meum servabit .

Spiritus autem sanctus facit amare

Deum, ideo iuvat. Ezech. XXXVI, 26:dabo vobis cor novum, et spiritum 

novum ponam in medio vestri; et 

auferam cor lapideum de carne 

vestra: et dabo vobis cor carneum, et 

spiritum meum ponam in medio 

vestri; et faciam ut in praeceptis meis 

ambuletis, et iudicia mea custodiatis 

et operemini .

(3) He assists us and, to a certain extent,

compels us to keep the commandments.

No one can keep the commandments

unless he loves God: “If any one love

Me, he will keep My word” [Jn 14:23].

Thus, the Holy Spirit makes us love God:

“And I give you a new heart and put anew spirit within you; and I will take

away the stony heart out of your flesh

and will give you a heart of flesh. And I

will put My Spirit in the midst of you; and

I will cause you to walk in My

commandments and to keep My

 judgments and do them” [Ez 36:26-27].

Quarto confirmat spem vitae

aeternae, quia est sicut pignus

hereditatis illius. Apostolus, Ephes. I,

1 3 - 1 4 : signati estis spiritu 

promissionis sancto, qui est pignus 

hereditatis nostrae . Est enim quasi

arrha vitae aeternae. Cuius ratio est,

quia ex hoc debetur vita aeterna

homini, inquantum efficitur filius Dei;

et hoc fit per hoc quod fit similis

Christo. Assimilatur autem aliquis

Christo per hoc quod habet spiritum

Christi, qui est spiritus sanctus.

Apostolus, Rom. VIII, 15-16: non 

enim accepistis spiritum servitutis 

iterum in timore; sed accepistis 

spiritum adoptionis filiorum, in quo 

clamamus, abba, pater. Ipse enim 

spiritus testimonium reddit spiritui nostro, quod sumus filii Dei ; et Gal.

IV, 6: quoniam autem estis filii Dei,

misit Deus spiritum filii sui in corda 

vestra, clamantem, abba, pater .

(4) He strengthens in us the hope of

eternal life, because He is the pledge to

us of this our destiny: “You were signed

with the Holy Spirit of promise who is the

pledge of our inheritance” [Eph 1:13]. He

is, as it were, the surety of our eternal

life. The reason is that eternal life is due

to man inasmuch as he is become the

son of God; and this is brought about in

that he is made like unto Christ; and this,

in turn, follows from his having the Spirit

of Christ, and this is the Holy Spirit: “For

you have not received the spirit of

bondage again in fear; but you have

received the spirit of adoption of sons,

whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the

Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our

spirit that we are the sons of God” [Rm

8:15-16]. And also: “Because you aresons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into

your hearts, crying: Abba, Father” [Gal


Quinto consulit in dubiis, et docet

nos quae sit voluntas Dei. Apoc. II,

7 : qui habet aures audiendi, audiat 

quid spiritus dicat Ecclesiis . Isai. I, 4:

audiam eum quasi magistrum .

(5) He counsels us when we are in

doubt, and teaches us what is the will of

God: “He that has an ear let him hear

what the Spirit says to the churches”

[Rev 2:7]. Likewise: “I may hear him as a

master” [Is 50:4].

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sanctam Ecclesiam


“I Believe in the Holy Catholic


Sicut videmus quod in unohomine est una anima et unum

corpus, et tamen sunt diversa

membra ipsius; ita Ecclesia

Catholica est unum corpus, et

habet diversa membra. Anima

autem quae hoc corpus vivificat,

est spiritus sanctus. Et ideo post

fidem de spiritu sancto, iubemur

credere sanctam EcclesiamCatholicam. Unde additur in

symbolo : sanctam Ecclesiam 

Catholicam .

We see that in a man there are one souland one body; and of his body there are

many members. So also the Catholic

Church is one body and has different

members. The soul which animates this

body is the Holy Spirit. Hence, after

confessing our faith in the Holy Spirit, we

are bid to believe in the Holy Catholic

Church. Thus, in the Symbol it is said, “the

Holy Catholic Church.”

Circa quod sciendum est, quod

Ecclesia est idem quod

congregatio. Unde Ecclesia

sancta idem est quod congregatio

fidelium; et quilibet Christianusest sicut membrum ipsius

Ecclesiae, de qua dicitur Eccli.

ult. 31: appropiate ad me indocti,

et congregate vos in domum 

disciplinae .

It must be known that “church” is the same

as assembly. So, the Holy Church is the

same as the assembly of the faithful, and

every Christian is a member of this Church,

of which it is written: “Draw near to Me, youunlearned; and gather yourselves together

into the house of discipline” [Sir 51:31].

Haec autem Ecclesia sancta

habet quatuor conditiones: quia

est una, quia est sancta, quia estCatholica, idest universalis, et

quia est fortis et firma.

The Church has four essential conditions, in

that she is one, holy, catholic, and strong

and firm.


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Quantum ad primum sciendum

est, quod licet diversi haeretici

diversas sectas adinvenerint, non

tamen pertinent ad Ecclesiam,

quia sunt divisi in partes: sed

Ecclesia est una. Cant. VI, 8: una 

est columba mea, perfecta mea .Causatur autem unitas Ecclesiae

ex tribus.

Of the first, it must be known that the Church

is one. Although various heretics have

founded various sects, they do not belong to

the Church, since they are but so many

divisions. Of her it is said: “One is My dove;

My perfect one is but one” [Sg 6:8]. The

unity of the Church arises from threesources:

Primo ex unitate fidei. Omnes

enim Christiani qui sunt de

corpore Ecclesiae, idem credunt:

I Cor. I, 10: idipsum dicatis 

omnes, et non sint in vobis 

schismata ; et Ephes. IV, 5: unus Deus, una fides, unum Baptisma .

(1) the unity of faith. All Christians who are

of the body of the Church believe the same

doctrine. “I beseech you... that you all speak

the same thing and that there be no schisms

among you” [1 Cor 1:10]. And: “One Lord,

one faith, one baptism”[Eph 4:5];

Secundo ex unitate spei, quia

omnes firmati sunt in una spe

perveniendi ad vitam aeternam:

et ideo dicit apostolus, Ephes. IV,

4 : unum corpus et unus spiritus,

sicut vocati estis in una spe 

vocationis vestrae .

(2) the unity of hope. All are strengthened in

one hope of arriving at eternal life. Hence,

the Apostle says: “One body and one Spirit,

as you are called in one hope of your

calling”[Eph 4:4];

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Tertio ex unitate caritatis, quia

omnes connectuntur in amore

Dei, et ad invicem in amore

mutuo. Ioan. XVII, 22: claritatem 

quam dedisti mihi, dedi eis, ut sint 

unum, sicut et nos unum sumus .

Manifestatur autem huiusmodiamor si verus est, quando

membra pro se invicem sunt

solicita, et quando invicem

compatiuntur. Ephes. IV, 15-16: in 

caritate crescamus in illo per 

omnia qui est caput Christus: ex 

quo totum corpus connexum et 

compactum per omnem 

iuncturam subministrationis 

secundum operationem in 

mensuram uniuscuiusque 

membri, augmentum corporis facit 

in aedificationem sui in caritate ;

quia quilibet de gratia sibi collata

a Deo, debet proximo servire.

Unde nullus debet contemnere,

nec pati ab ista Ecclesia abiici et

expelli; quia non est nisi una

Ecclesia in qua hominessalventur, sicut extra arcam Noe

nullus salvari potuit.

(3) the unity of charity. All are joined

together in the love of God, and to each

other in mutual love: “And the glory which

You hast given Me, I have given them; that

they may be one, as We also are one” [Jn

17:22]. It is clear that this is a true love when

the members are solicitous for one anotherand sympathetic towards each other: “We

should in every way grow up in Him who is

the head, Christ. From whom the whole

body, being joined and fit together, by every

 joint with which it is supplied, when each

part is working properly, makes bodily

growth and builds itself up in charity” [Eph

4:15-16]. This is because each one ought to

make use of the grace God grants him, and

be of service to his neighbor. No one ought

to be indifferent to the Church, or allow

himself to be cut off and expelled from it; for

there is but one Church in which men are

saved, just as outside of the ark of Noah no

one could be saved.


Circa secundum sciendum, quod

est etiam alia congregatio, sed

malignantium. Psal. XXV, 5: odivi 

Ecclesiam malignantium . Sed

haec est mala, Ecclesia vero

Christi est sancta: apostolus, I

Cor. III, 17: templum Dei sanctum 

est, quod estis vos ; unde dicitur,

sanctam Ecclesiam .

Concerning the second mark, holiness, it

must be known that there is indeed another

assembly, but it consists of the wicked: “I

hate the assembly of the wicked” [Ps 25:5].

But such a one is evil; the Church of Christ,

however, is holy: “For the temple of God is

holy, which you are” [1 Cor 3:17]. Hence, it

is said: “the Holy Church.”

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Sanctificantur autem fideles huius

congregationis ex tribus. Primo,

quia sicut Ecclesia cum

consecratur, materialiter lavatur,

ita et fideles loti sunt sanguine

Christi. Apoc. I, 5: dilexit nos, et 

lavit nos a peccatis nostris in sanguine suo ; Hebr. XIII, 12:

Iesus, ut sanctificaret per suum 

sanguinem populum, extra 

portam passus est . Secundo ex

inunctione: quia sicut Ecclesia

inungitur, sic et fideles spirituali

inunctione unguntur, ut

sanctificentur: alias non essent

Christiani: Christus enim idem est

quod unctus. Haec autem unctio

est gratia spiritus sancti. II Cor. I,

21: qui unxit nos, Deus ; et I Cor.

VI, 11: sanctificati estis in nomine 

domini nostri Iesu Christi . Tertio

ex inhabitatione Trinitatis: nam

ubicumque Deus inhabitat, locus

ille sanctus est: unde Genes.

XXVIII, 16: vere locus iste 

sanctus est ; et Psal. XCII, 5:domum tuam decet sanctitudo,

domine . Quarto propter

invocationem Dei. Ier. XIV, 9: tu 

autem in nobis es, domine, et 

nomen tuum invocatum est super 

nos . Cavendum est ergo ne post

talem sanctificationem polluamus

animam nostram, quae templum

Dei est, per peccatum. Apostolus,I Cor. III, 17: si quis templum Dei 

violaverit, disperdet illum Deus .

The faithful of this Church are made holy

because of four things: (1) Just as a church

is cleansed materially when it is

consecrated, so also the faithful are washed

in the blood of Christ: “Jesus Christ... who

hath loved us and washed us from our sins

in His own blood” [Rev 1:5]. And: “That Hemight sanctify the people by his blood, he

suffered outside the gate” [Hb 13:12]. (2)

Just as there is the anointing of the church,

so also the faithful are anointed with a

spiritual unction in order to be sanctified.

Otherwise they would not be Christians, for

Christ is the same as Anointed. This

anointing is the grace of the Holy Spirit: “He

who confirms us with you in Christ and who

has anointed us, is God” [2 Cor 1:21]. And:

“You are sanctified... in the name of our

Lord Jesus Christ” [1 Cor 6:11]. (3) The

faithful are made holy because of the Trinity

who dwells in the Church; for wherever God

dwells, that place is holy. “The place where

you stand is holy” [Joshua 5:16]. And:

“Holiness befits your house, O Lord” [Ps

92:5]. (4) Lastly, the faithful are sanctified

because God is invoked in the Church: “ButYou, Lord, are among us, and your name is

called upon by us; forsake us not” [Jer 14:9].

Let us, therefore, beware, seeing that we

are thus sanctified, lest by sin we defile our

soul which is the temple of God: “Do you not

know that you are the temple of God and

that the Spirit of God dwells in you? But if

any man violates the temple of God, him

shall God destroy” [1 Cor 3:16-17].


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Circa tertium sciendum est, quod

Ecclesia est Catholica, idest

universalis: primo quantum ad

locum, quia est per totum

mundum, contra Donatistas.

Rom. I, 8: fides vestra annuntiatur 

in universo mundo ; Marc. ult., 15:euntes in mundum universum,

praedicate Evangelium omni 

creaturae . Unde antiquitus Deus

erat notus tantum in Iudaea, nunc

autem per totum mundum. Habet

autem haec Ecclesia tres partes.

Una est in terra, alia est in caelo,

tertia est in Purgatorio. Secundo

est universalis quantum ad

conditionem hominum, quia

nullus abiicitur, nec dominus, nec

servus, nec masculus, nec

femina. Gal. III, 28: non est 

masculus neque femina . Tertio

est universalis quantum ad

tempus. Nam aliqui dixerunt,

quod Ecclesia debet durare

usque ad certum tempus. Sed

hoc est falsum: quia haecEcclesia incepit a tempore Abel,

et durabit usque ad finem saeculi.

Matth. ult., ult.: ecce ego 

vobiscum sum omnibus diebus 

usque ad consummationem 

saeculi . Sed post

consummationem saeculi

remanebit in caelo.

The Church is Catholic, that is, universal.

Firstly, it is universal in place, because it is

worldwide. This is contrary to the error of

the Donatists. For the Church is a

congregation of the faithful; and since the

faithful are in every part of the world, so also

is the Church: “Your faith is spoken of in thewhole world” [Rm 1:8]. And also: “Go into

the whole world and preach the gospel to

every creature” [Mk 16:15]. Long ago,

indeed, God was known only in Judea;

now, however, He is known throughout the

entire world. The Church has three parts:

one is on earth, one is in heaven, and one

is in purgatory. Secondly, the Church is

universal in regard to all the conditions of

mankind; for no exceptions are made,

neither master nor servant, neither man nor

woman: “Neither bond nor free; there is

neither male nor female” [Gal 3:28]. Thirdly,

it is universal in time. Some have said that

the Church will exist only up to a certain

time. But this is false, for the Church began

to exist in the time of Abel and will endure

up to the end of the world: “Behold, I am

with you all days, even to theconsummation of the world” [Mt 28:20].

Moreover, even after the end of the world, it

will continue to exist in heaven.


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Circa quartum sciendum est,

quod Ecclesia est firma. Domus

autem dicitur firma, primo si habet

bona fundamenta. Fundamentum

autem Ecclesiae principale est

Christus. Apostolus, I Cor. III, 11:

fundamentum aliud nemo potest ponere praeter id quod positum 

est, quod est Christus Iesus .

Secundarium vero fundamentum

sunt apostoli, et eorum doctrina;

et ideo firma est: unde in Apoc.

XXI, dicitur, quod civitas habebat

duodecim fundamenta, et erant

ibi scripta nomina duodecim

apostolorum. Et inde est quod

dicitur Ecclesia apostolica.

Exinde etiam est quod ad

significandum firmitatem huius

Ecclesiae, b. Petrus dictus est


The Church is firm. A house is said to be

firm if it has a solid foundation. The principal

foundation of the Church is Christ: “For

other foundation no men can lay but that

which is laid, which is Christ Jesus” [1 Cor

3:11]. The secondary foundation, however,

is the Apostles and their teaching.Therefore, the Church is firm. It is said in the

Apocalypse that the city has “twelve

foundations,” and therein were “written the

names of the twelve Apostles” [Rev 21:14].

From this the Church is called Apostolic.

Likewise, to indicate this firmness of the

Church St. Peter is called the crowning


Secundo apparet firmitas domus,

si conquassata non potest

destrui. Ecclesia autem nunquam

potuit destrui: nec a

persecutoribus; immo

persecutionibus durantibus magis

crevit, et qui eam

persequebantur, et quos ipsa

persequebatur, deficiebant:

Matth. XXI, 44: qui ceciderit super 

lapidem istum, confringetur; super 

quem vero ceciderit, conteret 

eum ; nec ab erroribus; immoquanto magis errores

supervenerunt, tanto magis

veritas manifestata est: II Tim. III,

8 : homines corrupti mente,

reprobi circa fidem; sed ultra non 

proficient ;

The firmness of a house is evident if, when

it is violently struck, it does not fall. The

Church similarly can never be destroyed,

neither by persecution nor by error. Indeed,

the Church grew during the persecutions,

and both those who persecuted her and

those against whom she threatened

completely failed: “And whoever falls upon

this stone, shall be broken; but on

whomever it falls, it shall grind him to

powder” [Mt 21:44]. As regards errors,

indeed, the more errors arise, the more

surely truth is made to appear: “Men corruptin mind, reprobate in faith; but they shall

proceed no further” [2 Tim 3:8].

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nec a tentationibus Daemonum:

Ecclesia enim est sicut turris, ad

quam fugit quicumque pugnat

contra Diabolum: Prov. XVIII, 10:

turris fortissima nomen domini . Et

ideo Diabolus principaliter

conatur ad destructionem eius;sed non praevalet, quia dominus

dixit Matth. XVI, 18: et portae 

Inferi non praevalebunt adversus 

eam ;

Nor shall the Church be destroyed by the

temptations of the demons. For she is like a

tower towards which all flee who war

against the devil: “The name of the Lord is a

strong tower” [Prov 18:10]. The devil,

therefore, is chiefly intent on destroying the

Church, but he will not succeed, for the Lordhas said: “The gates of the underworld shall

not prevail against it” [Mt 16:18].

quasi dicat: bellabunt adversum

te, sed non praevalebunt. Et inde

est quod sola Ecclesia Petri (in

cuius partem venit tota Italia, dumdiscipuli mitterentur ad

praedicandum) semper fuit firma

in fide: et cum in aliis partibus vel

nulla fides sit, vel sit commixta

multis erroribus, Ecclesia tamen

Petri et fide viget, et ab erroribus

munda est. Nec mirum: quia

dominus dixit Petro, Luc. XXII, 32:

ego rogavi pro te, Petre, ut non 

deficiat fides tua .

This is as if He said: “They shall make war

against you, but they shall not overcome

you.” And thus it is that only the Church of

Peter (to whom it was given to evangelizeItaly when the disciples were sent to

preach) was always firm in faith. On the

contrary, in other parts of the world there is

either no faith at all or faith mixed with many

errors. The Church of Peter flourishes in

faith and is free from error. This, however, is

not to be wondered at, for the Lord has said

to Peter: “But I have prayed for you, that

your faith fail not; and thou, being once

converted, confirm your brethren” [Lk 22:32].




remissionem peccatorum

“The Communion of Saints,

the Forgiveness of Sins.”

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Bonum ergo Christi communicatur

omnibus Christianis, sicut virtus

capitis omnibus membris;

As in our natural body the operation of

one member works for the good of the

entire body, so also is it with a spiritual

body, such as is the Church. Because all

the faithful are one body, the good of one

member is communicated to another:

“And every one members, one ofanother” [Rm 12:5]. So, among the points

of faith which the Apostles have handed

down is that there is a common sharing

of good in the Church. This is expressed

in the words, “the Communion of Saints”.

Among the various members of the

Church, the principal member is Christ,

because He is the Head: “He made Him

head over all the Church, which is His

body” [Eph 1:22]. Christ communicates

His good, just as the power of the head is

communicated to all the members.

et haec communicatio fit per

sacramenta Ecclesiae, in quibus

operatur virtus passionis Christi,

quae operatur ad conferendam

gratiam in remissionem peccatorum.

Huiusmodi autem sacramenta

Ecclesiae sunt septem.

This communication takes place through

the Sacraments of the Church in which

operate the merits of the passion of

Christ, which in turn operates for the

conferring of grace unto the remission of

sins. These Sacraments of the Church

are seven in number.

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Primum est Baptismus, qui est

regeneratio quaedam spiritualis.

Sicut enim vita carnalis non potest

haberi nisi homo carnaliter nascatur:

ita vita spiritualis, vel gratiae, non

potest haberi nisi homo renascatur

spiritualiter. Haec autem generatiofit per Baptismum: Ioan. III, 5: nisi 

quis renatus fuerit ex aqua et spiritu 

sancto, non potest introire in regnum 

Dei . Et est sciendum, quod sicut

homo non nascitur nisi semel, sic et

semel tantum baptizatur: unde et

sancti addiderunt: confiteor unum 

Baptisma . Virtus autem Baptismi est

quod purgat ab omnibus peccatis et

quantum ad culpam et quantum ad

poenam: et inde est quod nulla

poenitentia imponitur baptizatis,

quantumcumque fuerint peccatores;

et si statim moriantur post

Baptismum, immediate evolant in

vitam aeternam. Inde est etiam quod

licet soli sacerdotes ex officio

baptizent, ex necessitate tamen

cuilibet licet baptizare, servatatamen forma Baptismi, quae est: ego 

te baptizo in nomine patris et filii et 

spiritus sancti . Sumit autem hoc

sacramentum virtutem a passione

Christi: Rom. VI, 5: quicumque 

baptizati sumus in Christo Iesu, in 

morte ipsius baptizati sumus . Et

inde est quod sicut Christus fuit

tribus diebus in sepulcro, ita fit trinaimmersio in aqua.

“Baptism.”—The first is Baptism which is

a certain spiritual regeneration. Just as

there can be no physical life unless man

is first born in the flesh, so spiritual life or

grace cannot be had unless man is

spiritually reborn. This rebirth is effected

through Baptism: “Unless a man be bornagain of water and the Holy Spirit, he

cannot enter into the kingdom of God” [Jn

3:5]. It must be known that, just as a man

can be born but once, so only once is he

baptized. Hence, the holy Fathers put

into the Nicene Creed: “I confess one

baptism.” The power of Baptism consists

in this, that it cleanses from all sins as

regards both their guilt and their

punishment. For this reason no penance

is imposed on those who are baptized,

no matter to what extent they had been

sinners. Moreover, if they should die

immediately after Baptism, they would

without delay go to heaven. Another

result is that, although only priests “ex

officio” may baptize, yet any one may

baptize in case of necessity, provided

that the proper form of Baptism is used.This is: “I baptize you in the name of the

Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy

Spirit.” This Sacrament receives its

power from the passion of Christ. “All we

who are baptized in Christ Jesus are

baptized in His death” [Rm 6:3].

Accordingly there is a threefold

immersion in water after the three days in

which Christ was in the sepulchre.

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Secundum sacramentum est

confirmatio. Sicut enim in illis qui

corporaliter nascuntur, necessariae

sunt vires ad operandum; ita

spiritualiter renatis necessarium est

robur spiritus sancti. Unde et

apostoli ad hoc quod essent fortes,receperunt spiritum sanctum post

ascensionem Christi: Luc. XXIV, 49:

vos autem sedete in civitate,

quousque induamini virtute ex alto .

Hoc autem robur confertur in

sacramento confirmationis: et ideo

illi qui habent curam puerorum,

debent multum esse soliciti quod

confirmentur, quia in confirmatione

confertur magna gratia. Et si

decedet, maiorem habet gloriam

confirmatus quam non confirmatus,

quia hic habuit plus de gratia.

“Confirmation.”—The second Sacrament

is Confirmation. Just as they who are

physically born need certain powers to

act, so those who are reborn spiritually

must have the strength of the Holy Spirit

which is imparted to them in this

Sacrament. In order that they mightbecome strong, the Apostles received the

Holy Spirit after the Ascension of Christ:

“Stay you in the city till you be endowed

with power from on high” [Lk 24:49]. This

power is given in the Sacrament of

Confirmation. They, therefore, who have

the care of children should be very

careful to see that they be confirmed,

because great grace is conferred in

Confirmation. He who is confirmed will,

when he dies, enjoy greater glory than

one not confirmed, because greater

grace will be his.

Tertium sacramentum est

Eucharistia. Sicut enim in vita

corporali, postquam homo natus est

et vires sumpsit, necessarius est ei

cibus, ut conservetur et sustentetur;

ita in vita spirituali post habitum

robur necessarius est ei cibus

spiritualis, qui est corpus Christi.

Ioan. VI, 54: nisi manducaveritis 

carnem filii hominis et biberitis eius 

sanguinem, non habebitis vitam in 

vobis . Et ideo secundum

ordinationem Ecclesiae quilibet

Christianus semel in anno debetrecipere corpus Christi, digne tamen

et munde: quia, ut dicitur I Cor. XI,

29, qui manducat et bibit indigne ,

scilicet cum conscientia peccati

mortalis de quo non est confessus,

vel non proponit abstinere, iudicium 

sibi manducat et bibit .

“Holy Eucharist.”—The Eucharist is the

third Sacrament. In the physical life, after

man is born and acquires powers, he

needs food to sustain and strengthen

him. Likewise in the spiritual life, after

being fortified, he has need of spiritual

food; this is the Body of Christ: “Unless

you eat the flesh of the Son of man and

drink His blood, you shall not have life in

you “[Jn 6:54]. According to the

prescribed law of the Church, therefore,

every Christian must at least once a year

receive the Body of Christ, and in a

worthy manner and with a cleanconscience: “For he who eats and drinks

unworthily [that is, by being conscious of

unconfessed mortal sin on his soul, or

with no intent to abstain from it] eats and

drinks judgment to himself” [1 Cor 11:29].

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Quartum sacramentum est

poenitentia. Contingit enim in vita

corporali quod quandoque quis

infirmatur, et nisi habeat medicinam,

moritur; et ita in vita spirituali quis

infirmatur per peccatum: unde

necessaria est medicina adrecuperandam sanitatem. Et haec

est gratia quae confertur in

poenitentiae sacramento. Psal. CII,

3 : qui propitiatur omnibus 

iniquitatibus tuis, qui sanat omnes 

infirmitates tuas . In poenitentia

autem tria debent esse: contritio,

quae est dolor de peccato cum

proposito abstinendi; confessio

peccatorum cum integritate: et

satisfactio quae est per bona opera.

“Penance.”—The fourth Sacrament is

Penance. In the physical life, one who is

sick and does not have recourse to

medicine, dies; so in the spiritual order,

one becomes ill because of sin. Thus,

medicine is necessary for recovery of

health; and this is the grace which isconferred in the Sacrament of Penance:

“Who forgives all your iniquities; who

heals all your diseases” [Ps 102:3].

Three things must be present in the

Sacrament of Penance: contrition, which

is sorrow for sin together with a

resolution not to sin again; confession of

sins, as far as possible entire; and

satisfaction which is accomplished by

good works.

Quintum sacramentum est extrema

unctio. In hac enim vita sunt multa

quae impediunt, propter quae homo

non potest perfecte consequi

purgationem a peccatis. Et quia

nullus potest intrare vitam aeternam

nisi sit bene purgatus, necessarium

fuit aliud sacramentum quo homo

purgaretur a peccatis, et liberaretur

ab infirmitate, et praepararetur ad

introitum regni caelestis. Et hoc est

sacramentum extremae unctionis.

Sed quod non semper curet

corporaliter, hoc est quia forte vivere

non expedit saluti animae. Iac. V,

14-15: infirmatur quis in vobis? Inducat presbyteros Ecclesiae, et 

orent super eum, ungentes eum 

oleo in nomine domini: et oratio fidei 

salvabit infirmum, et alleviabit eum 

dominus; et si in peccatis sit,

remittentur ei . Sic ergo patet quod

per quinque sacramenta quae

praedicta sunt, habetur perfectio


“Extreme Unction.”—Extreme Unction is

the fifth Sacrament. In this life there are

many things which prevent one from a

perfect purification from one’s sins. But

since no one can enter into eternal life

until he is well cleansed, there is need of

another Sacrament which will purify man

of his sins, and both free him from

sickness and prepare him for entry into

the heavenly kingdom. This is the

Sacrament of Extreme Unction. That this

Sacrament does not always restore

health to the body is due to this, that

perhaps to live is not to the advantage of

the soul’s salvation. “Is any man sick

amongst you? Let him bring in the priestsof the Church and let them pray over him,

anointing him with oil in the name of the

Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save

the sick man. And the Lord shall raise

him up; and if he be in sins, they shall be

forgiven him” [James 5:14-15]. It is now

clear that the fullness of life is had from

these five Sacraments.

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Sed quia necessarium est quod

huiusmodi sacramenta conferantur

per determinatos ministros, ideo fuit

necessarium sacramentum ordinis,

cuius ministerio huiusmodi

sacramenta dispensarentur. Nec est

attendenda ad hoc eorum vita, sialiquando ad mala declinant; sed

virtus Christi, per quam ipsa

sacramenta efficaciam habent,

quorum ipsi dispensatores sunt:

apostolus, I Cor. IV, 1: sic nos 

existimet homo ut ministros Christi,

et dispensatores mysteriorum Dei ; et

hoc est sextum sacramentum,

scilicet ordinis.

“Holy Orders.”—It is necessary that these

Sacraments be administered by chosen

ministers. Therefore, the Sacrament of

Orders is necessary, by whose powers

these Sacraments are dispensed. Nor

need one note the life of such ministers, if

here and there one fail in his office, butremember the virtue of Christ through

whose merits the Sacraments have their

efficacy, and in whose Name the

ministers are but dispensers: “Let a man

so account of us as of the ministers of

Christ and the dispensers of the

mysteries of God” [1 Cor 4:1]. This then is

the sixth Sacrament, namely, Orders.

Septimum sacramentum est

matrimonium, in quo si munde

vivunt, homines salvantur, et

possunt sine peccato mortali vivere.

Et interdum declinant coniugati ad

venialia, quando eorum

concupiscentia non fertur extra bona

matrimonii; et si efferatur extra, tunc

declinant ad mortale.

“Matrimony.”—The seventh Sacrament is

Matrimony, and in it men, if they live

uprightly, are saved; and thereby they are

enabled to live without mortal sin.

Sometimes the partners in marriage fall

into venial sin, when their concupiscence

does not extend beyond the rights of

matrimony; but if they do go beyond such

rights, they sin mortally.

Per haec autem septem sacramenta

consequimur peccatorum

remissionem. Et ideo hic statim

subditur: remissionem peccatorum .

Per hoc etiam datum est apostolis

dimittere peccata. Et ideo

credendum est quod ministri

Ecclesiae, ad quos derivata est

huiusmodi potestas ab apostolis, et

ad apostolos a Christo, in Ecclesia

habeant potestatem ligandi atque

solvendi, et quod in Ecclesia sit

plena potestas dimittendi peccata,

sed gradatim, scilicet a Papa in

alios praelatos.

By these seven Sacraments we receive

the remission of sins, and so in the Creed

there follows immediately: “the

forgiveness of sins.” The power was

given to the Apostles to forgive sins. We

must believe that the ministers of the

Church receive this power from the

Apostles; and the Apostles received it

from Christ; and thus the priests have the

power of binding and loosing. Moreover,

we believe that there is the full power of

forgiving sins in the Church, although it

operates from the highest to the lowest,

i.e., from the Pope down through the


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Sciendum est etiam, quod non

solum virtus passionis Christi

communicatur nobis, sed etiam

meritum vitae Christi. Et quidquid

boni fecerunt omnes sancti,

communicatur in caritate

existentibus, quia omnes unum sunt:Psal. CXVIII, 63: particeps ego sum 

omnium timentium te . Et inde est

quod qui in caritate vivit, particeps

est omnis boni quod fit in toto

mundo; sed tamen specialius illi pro

quibus specialius fit aliquod bonum.

Nam unus potest satisfacere pro

alio, sicut patet in beneficiis, ad

quae plures congregationes

admittunt aliquos. Sic ergo per hanc

communionem consequimur duo:

unum scilicet quod meritum Christi

communicatur omnibus; aliud quod

bonum unius communicatur alteri.

Unde excommunicati, per hoc quod

sunt extra Ecclesiam, perdunt

partem omnium bonorum quae fiunt;

quod est maius damnum quam

damnum alicuius rei temporalis. Estetiam aliud periculum: quia constat

quod per huiusmodi suffragia

impeditur Diabolus ne possit nos

tentare: unde quando quis excluditur

ab huiusmodi suffragiis, Diabolus

facilius vincit eum. Et inde est quod

in primitiva Ecclesia, cum aliquis

excommunicabatur, statim Diabolus

vexabat eum corporaliter.

We must also know that not only the

efficacy of the Passion of Christ is

communicated to us, but also the merits

of His life; and, moreover, all the good

that all the Saints have done is

communicated to all who are in the state

of grace, because all are one: “I am apartaker of all those who fear You” [Ps

118:63]. Therefore, he who lives in

charity participates in all the good that is

done in the entire world; but more

specially does he benefit for whom some

good work is done; since one man

certainly can satisfy for another. Thus,

through this communion we receive two

benefits. One is that the merits of Christ

are communicated to all; the other is that

the good of one is communicated to

another. Those who are

excommunicated, however, because

they are cut off from the Church, forfeit

their part of all the good that is done, and

this is a far greater loss than being bereft

of all material things. There is a danger

lest the devil impede this spiritual help in

order to tempt one; and when one is thuscut off, the devil can easily overcome

him. Thus it was in the primitive Church

that, when one was excommunicated, the

devil even physically attacked him.


carnis resurrectionem “The Resurrection of the Body”

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Spiritus sanctus non solum

sanctificat Ecclesiam quantum ad

animam, sed virtute eius resurgent

corpora nostra. Rom. 4, 24: qui 

suscitavit Iesum Christum 

dominum nostrum a mortuis ; et I

Cor. XV, 21: quoniam quidem per hominem mors, et per hominem 

resurrectio mortuorum . Et ideo

credimus secundum fidem

nostram, resurrectionem

mortuorum futuram. Circa quam

quatuor consideranda occurrunt.

Primum est utilitas, quae ex fide

resurrectionis provenit; secundum

est qualitas resurgentium,

quantum ad omnes in generali;

tertium quantum ad bonos;

quartum quantum ad malos in


Not only does the Holy Spirit sanctify the

Church as regards the souls of its

members, but also our bodies shall rise

again by His power: “We believe in Him

that raised up Jesus Christ, Our Lord, from

the dead” [Rm 4:24]. And: “By a man came

death: and by a Man the resurrection of thedead” [1 Cor 15:21]. In this there occur four

considerations: (1) the benefits which

proceed from our faith in the resurrection;

(2) the qualities of those who shall rise,

taken all in general; (3) the condition of the

blessed; (4) the condition of the damned.


Circa primum sciendum, quod ad

quatuor est nobis utilis fides etspes resurrectionis. Primo ad

tollendum tristitias quas ex

mortuis concipimus. Impossibile

est enim quod homo non doleat

ad mortem cari sui; sed per hoc

quod sperat eum resurrecturum,

multum temperatur dolor mortis. I

Thess. IV, 12: nolumus vos 

ignorare, fratres, de dormientibus,

ut non contristemini, sicut et ceteri 

qui spem non habent .

Concerning the first, our faith and hope in

the resurrection is beneficial in four ways.Firstly, it takes away the sorrow which we

feel for the departed. It is impossible for one

not to grieve over the death of a relative or

friend; but the hope that such a one will rise

again greatly tempers the pain of parting:

“And we will not have you ignorant,

brethren, concerning those who are asleep,

that you be not sorrowful, as others who

have no hope” [1 Thes 4:12].

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Secundo aufert timorem mortis.

Nam si homo post mortem non

speraret aliam vitam meliorem,

sine dubio mors esset valde

timenda, et potius deberet homo

quaecumque mala facere, quam

incurrere mortem. Sed quiacredimus esse aliam vitam

meliorem, ad quam perveniemus

post mortem, constat quod nullus

debet mortem timere, nec timore

mortis aliqua mala facere. Hebr. II,

14-15: ut per mortem destrueret 

eum qui habebat mortis imperium,

idest Diabolum; et liberaret eos 

qui timore mortis per totam vitam 

obnoxii erant servituti .

Secondly, it takes away the fear of death. If

one does not hope in another and better life

after death, then without doubt one is

greatly in fear of death and would willingly

commit any crime rather than suffer death.

But because we believe in another life

which will be ours after death, we do notfear death, nor would we do anything

wrong through fear of it: “That, through

death He might destroy him who had the

empire of death, that is to say, the devil,

and might deliver those who through fear of

death were all their life subject to bondage”

[Hb 2:14].

Tertio reddit sollicitos et studiosos

ad bene operandum. Si enim vita

hominis esset tantum ista in qua

vivimus, non inesset hominibus

magnum studium ad bene

operandum: quia quidquid faceret,

parvum esset, cum eius

desiderium non sit ad bonum

determinatum secundum certum

tempus, sed ad aeternitatem. Sed

quia credimus quod per haec

quae hic facimus, recipiemus

bona aeterna in resurrectione,

ideo studemus bona operari. I

Cor. XV, 19: si in hac vita tantum 

in Christo sperantes sumus,

miserabiliores sumus omnibus hominibus .

Thirdly, it makes us watchful and careful to

live uprightly. If, however, this life in which

we live were all, we would not have this

great incentive to live well, for whatever we

do would be of little importance, since it

would be regulated not by eternity, but by

brief, determined time. But we believe that

we shall receive eternal rewards in the

resurrection for whatsoever we do here.

Hence, we are anxious to do good: “If in

this life only we have hope in Christ, we are

of all men most miserable” [1 Cor 15:19].

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Quarto retrahit a malo. Sicut enim

spes praemii allicit ad bonum

operandum, ita timor poenae,

quam credimus malis reservari,

retrahit a malo. Ioan. V, 29: et 

procedent qui bona fecerunt, in 

resurrectionem vitae; qui vero mala egerunt, in resurrectionem 

iudicii . Circa secundum sciendum

est, quod quantum ad omnes

quadruplex conditio attendi potest

in resurrectione.

Finally, it withdraws us from evil. Just as

the hope of reward urges us to do good, so

also the fear of punishment, which we

believe is reserved for wicked deeds,

keeps us from evil: “But they who have

done good things shall come forth unto the

resurrection of life; but they who have doneevil, unto the resurrection of judgment” [Jn


Qualities of those who arise

There is a fourfold condition of all those who shall take part in the resurrection:

Prima est quantum ad identitatem

corporum resurgentium: quia idem

corpus quod nunc est, et quantum

ad carnem et quantum ad ossa

resurget; licet aliqui dixerint quod

hoc corpus quod nunc

corrumpitur, non resurget; quod

est contra apostolum. Ait I Cor.XV, 53: oportet enim corruptibile 

hoc induere incorruptionem ; et

quia sacra Scriptura dicit, quod

virtute Dei idem corpus ad vitam

resurget: Iob XIX, 26: rursum 

circumdabor pelle mea, et in 

carne mea videbo Deum .

(a) The Identity of the Bodies of the Risen.

 —It will be the same body as it is now, both

as regards its flesh and its bones. Some,

indeed, have said that it will not be this

same body which is corrupted that shall be

raised up; but such view is contrary to the

Apostle: “For this corruptible must put on

incorruption” [1 Cor 15:53]. And likewisethe Sacred Scripture says that by the power

of God this same body shall rise to life:

“And I shall be clothed again with my skin;

and in my flesh I shall see my God” [Job


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Secunda conditio erit quantum ad

qualitatem, quia corpora

resurgentia erunt alterius

qualitatis quam nunc sint: quia et

quantum ad beatos et quantum ad

malos corpora erunt

incorruptibilia, quia boni eruntsemper in gloria, et mali semper in

poena eorum. I Cor. XV, 53:

oportet corruptibile hoc induere 

incorruptionem, et mortale hoc 

induere immortalitatem . Et quia

corpus erit incorruptibile et

immortale, non erit usus ciborum

et venereorum: Matth. XXII, 30: in 

resurrectione neque nubent 

neque nubentur; sed erunt sicut 

Angeli Dei in caelo . Et hoc est

contra Iudaeos et Saracenos. Iob

VII, 10: non revertetur ultra in 

domum suam .

(b) The Incorruptibility of the Risen Bodies.

 —The bodies of the risen shall be of a

different quality from that of the mortal body,

because they shall be incorruptible, both of

the blessed, who shall be ever in glory, and

of the damned, who shall be ever in

punishments: “For this corruptible must puton incorruption; and this mortal must put on

immortality” [1 Cor 15:53]. And since the

body will be incorruptible and immortal,

there will no longer be the use of food or of

the marriage relations: “For in the

resurrection they shall neither marry nor be

married, but shall be as the Angels of God

in heaven” [Mt 22:30]. This is directly

against the Jews and Muslims: “Nor shall

he return any more into his house” [Job


Tertia conditio est quantum ad

integritatem, quia omnes et boni et

mali resurgent cum omni

integritate quae ad perfectionem

hominis pertinet; non enim erit ibi

caecus vel claudus, nec aliquis

defectus. Apostolus I Cor. XV, 52:

mortui resurgent incorrupti , idest

impassibiles quantum ad

corruptiones praesentes.

(c) The Integrity of the Risen Bodies.—Both

the good and the wicked shall rise with all

soundness of body which is natural to man.

He will not be blind or deaf or bear any kind

of physical defect: “The dead shall rise

again incorruptible” [1 Cor 15:52], this is to

mean, wholly free from the defects of the

present life.

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Quarta conditio est quantum ad

aetatem, quia omnes resurgent in

aetate perfecta, idest triginta trium

vel duorum annorum. Cuius ratio

est, quia qui nondum pervenerunt

ad hoc, non habent aetatem

perfectam, et senes hanc iamamiserunt: et ideo iuvenibus et

pueris addetur quod deest,

senibus vero restituetur. Ephes.

IV, 13: donec occurramus omnes 

in (...) virum perfectum, in 

mensuram aetatis plenitudinis 

Christi .

(d) The Age of the Risen Bodies.—All will

rise in the condition of perfect age, which is

of thirty-two or thirty-three years. This is

because all who were not yet arrived at this

age, did not possess this perfect age, and

the old had already lost it. Hence, youths

and children will be given what they lack,and what the aged once had will be

restored to them: “Until we all attain the

unity of faith and of the knowledge of the

Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the

measure of the age of the fullness of Christ”

[Eph 4:13].

Condition of the blessed

Circa tertium sciendum est, quod

quantum ad bonos erit specialis

gloria, quia sancti habebunt

corpora glorificata in quibus erit

quadruplex conditio.

It must be known that the good will enjoy a

special glory because the blessed will

have glorified bodies which will be

endowed with four gifts:

Prima est claritas: Matth. XIII, 43:

fulgebunt iusti sicut sol in regno patris eorum .

(a) Brilliance.—“Then shall the just shine

as the sun in the kingdom of their Father”[Mt 13:43].

Secunda est impassibilitas; I Cor.

XV, 43: seminatur in ignobilitate,

surget in gloria ; Apoc. XXI, 4:

absterget Deus omnem lacrymam 

ab oculis eorum; et mors ultra non 

erit, neque luctus neque clamor 

neque dolor erit ultra, quia prima abierunt .

(b) Impassibility (i.e., Incapability of

Receiving Action).—“It is sown in dishonor;

it shall rise in glory.” [1 Cor 15:43] “And

God shall wipe away all tears from their

eyes; and death shall be no more. Nor

mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be

anymore, for the former things are passedaway” [Rev 21:4].

Tertia est agilitas: Sap. III, 7:

fulgebunt iusti, et sicut scintillae in 

arundineto discurrent .

(c) Agility.—“The just shall shine and shall

run to and fro like sparks among the reeds”

[Wis 3:7].

Quarta est subtilitas: I Cor. XV, 44:

seminatur corpus animale, surget 

corpus spiritale : non quod omninosit spiritus, sed quia erit totaliter

spiritui subiectum.

(d) Subtility.—“It is sown a natural body; it

shall rise a spiritual body” [1 Cor 15:44].

This is in the sense of not being altogethera spirit, but that the body will be wholly

subject to the spirit.

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Condition of the damned

Circa quartum sciendum, quod

damnatorum conditio contraria erit

conditioni beatorum, quia erit in

eis poena aeterna: in qua est

quadruplex mala conditio. Namcorpora eorum erunt obscura: Isai.

XIII, 8: facies combustae vultus 

eorum . Item passibilia, licet

nunquam corrumpantur; quia

semper in igne ardebunt, et

nunquam consummabuntur: Isai.

LXVI, 24: vermis eorum non 

morietur, et ignis eorum non 

extinguetur . Item erunt gravia:anima enim erit ibi quasi catenata:

Psal. CXLIX, 8: ad alligandos 

reges eorum in compedibus . Item

erunt quodammodo carnalia et

anima et corpus: Ioel. I, 17:

computruerunt iumenta et in 

stercore suo .

It must also be known that the condition of

the damned will be the exact contrary to

that of the blessed. Theirs is the state of

eternal punishment, which has a fourfold

evil condition. The bodies of the damnedwill not be brilliant: “Their countenances

shall be as faces burnt” [Is 13:8]. Likewise

they shall be passible, because they shall

never deteriorate and, although burning

eternally in fire, they shall never be

consumed: “Their worm shall not die and

their fire shall not be quenched” [Is 66:24].

They will be weighed down, and the soul of

the damned will be as it were chainedtherein: “To bind their kings with fetters,

and their nobles with manacles of iron” [Ps

149:8]. Finally, they will be in a certain

manner fleshly both in soul and body: “The

beasts have rotted in their dung” [Joel



et vitam aeternam.


“Life everlasting. Amen.”

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Convenienter in fine omnium

desideriorum nostrorum, scilicet in

vita aeterna, finis datur credendis

in symbolo, cum dicitur: vitam 

aeternam. Amen . Contra quod

dicunt illi qui ponunt animam

interire cum corpore. Si enim hocesset verum, homo esset eiusdem

conditionis cum brutis: et istis

convenit illud Psal. XLVIII, 21:

homo, cum in honore esset, non 

intellexit; comparatus est iumentis 

insipientibus, et similis factus est 

illis . Anima enim humana

assimilatur Deo in immortalitate, ex

parte autem sensualitatis

assimilatur bestiis. Cum ergo credit

quis quod anima moriatur cum

corpore, recedit a Dei similitudine,

et bestiis comparatur: contra quos

dicitur Sap. II, 22-23: neque 

mercedem speraverunt iustitiae,

nec iudicaverunt honorem 

animarum sanctarum: quoniam 

Deus creavit hominem 

inexterminabilem, et ad imaginem similitudinis suae fecit illum .

The end of all our desires, eternal life, is

fittingly placed last among those things to

be believed; and the Creed says: “life

everlasting. Amen.” They wrote this to

stand against those who believe that the

soul perishes with the body. If this were

indeed true, then the condition of manwould be just the same as that of the

beasts. This agrees with what the Psalmist

says: “Man when he was in honor did not

understand; he has been compared to

senseless beasts, and made like to them”

[Ps 48:21]. The human soul, however, is in

its immortality made like unto God, and in

its sensuality alone is it like the brutes. He,

then, who believes that the soul dies with

the body withdraws it from this similarity to

God and likens it to the brutes. Against

such it is said: “They knew not the secrets

of God, nor hoped for the wages of justice,

nor esteemed the honor of holy souls. For

God created man incorruptible, and to the

image of His own likeness He made him”

[Wis 2:22-23].

Life everlasting

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Est autem primo considerandum in

hoc articulo, quae vita sit vita

aeterna. Circa quod sciendum

quod in vita aeterna primum est

quod homo coniungitur Deo. Nam

ipse Deus est praemium et finis

omnium laborum nostrorum: Gen.XV, 1: ego protector tuus sum, et 

merces tua magna nimis . Consistit

autem haec coniunctio in perfecta

visione: I Cor. XIII, 12: videmus 

nunc per speculum in aenigmate: 

tunc autem facie ad faciem . Item

consistit in summa laude:

Augustinus, in 22 de Civit. Dei:

videbimus, amabimus, et 

laudabimus ; Isai. LI, 3: gaudium et 

laetitia invenietur in ea, gratiarum 

actio, et vox laudis .

We must first consider in this Article what

is everlasting life. And in this we must

know that in everlasting life man is united

to God. God Himself is the reward and the

end of all our labors: “I am your protector,

and your reward exceeding great” [Gen

15:1]. This union with God consists, firstly,in a perfect vision: “We see now through a

glass in a dark manner; but then face to

face” [1 Cor 13:12]. Secondly, in a most

fervent love; for the better one is known,

the more perfectly is one loved: “The Lord

said it, whose fire is in Sion, and His

furnace in Jerusalem” [Is 31:9]. Thirdly, in

the highest praise. “We shall see, we shall

love, and we shall praise,” as says St.

Augustine [City of God  XX, 30]. “Joy and

gladness shall be found therein,

thanksgiving and the voice of praise” [Is


Item in perfecta satietate desiderii:

nam ibi habebit quilibet beatus

ultra desiderata et sperata. Cuius

ratio est, quia nullus potest in vita

ista implere desiderium suum, nec

unquam aliquod creatum satiat

desiderium hominis: Deus enim

solus satiat, et in infinitum excedit:

et inde est quod non quiescit nisi in

Deo, Augustinus, in I Conf.: fecisti 

nos, domine, ad te, et inquietum 

est cor nostrum donec requiescat 

in te . Et quia sancti in patria

perfecte habebunt Deum,manifestum est quod satiabitur

desiderium eorum, et adhuc gloria

excedet. Et ideo dicit dominus,

Matth. XXV, 21: intra in gaudium 

domini tui . Augustinus: totum 

gaudium non intrabit in gaudentes,

sed toti gaudentes intrabunt in 

gaudium . Psal. XVI, 15: satiabor 

cum apparuerit gloria tua ; et iterumCII, 5: qui replet in bonis 

desiderium tuum .

Then, too, in everlasting life is the full and

perfect satisfying of every desire; for there

every blessed soul will have to

overflowing what he hoped for and

desired. The reason is that in this life no

one can fulfill all his desires, nor can any

created thing fully satisfy the craving of

man. God only satisfies and infinitely

exceeds man’s desires; and, therefore,

perfect satiety is found in God alone. As

St. Augustine says: “You have made us for

You, O Lord, and our heart is restless until

it rests in You” [Confessions  I, 1]. Because

the blessed in the Fatherland will possessGod perfectly, it is evident that their

desires will be abundantly filled, and their

glory will exceed their hopes. The Lord

has said: “Enter into the joy of the Lord” [Mt

25:21]. And as St. Augustine says:

“Complete joy wil l not enter into those who

rejoice, but all those who rejoice will enter

into joy.” “I shall be satisfied when your

glory shall appear” [Ps 16:15]. And again:“Who satisfies your desire with good

things” [Ps 102:5].

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Quidquid enim delectabile est,

totum est ibi superabundanter. Si

enim appetuntur delectationes, ibi

erit summa et perfectissima

delectatio, quia de summo bono,

scilicet Deo: Iob XXII, 26: tunc 

super omnipotentem deliciis afflues ; Psal. XV, 11: delectationes 

in dextera tua usque in finem . Item

si appetuntur honores, ibi erit

omnis honor. Homines praecipue

desiderant esse reges, quantum ad

laicos, et episcopi, quantum ad

clericos: et utrumque erit ibi: Apoc.

V, 10: fecisti nos Deo nostro 

regnum et sacerdotes ; Sap. V, 5:

ecce quomodo computati sunt inter 

filios Dei . Item si scientia appetitur,

ibi erit perfectissima: quia omnes

naturas rerum et omnem veritatem,

et quidquid volemus, sciemus, et

quidquid volumus habere,

habebimus ibi cum ipsa vita

aeterna. Sap. VII, 11: venerunt mihi 

omnia bona pariter cum illa . Prov.

X, 24: desiderium suum iustis dabitur .

Whatever is delightful will be there in

abundant fullness. Thus, if pleasures are

desired, there will be the highest and most

perfect pleasure, for it derives from the

highest good, namely, God: “Then shall

you abound in delights in the Almighty”

[Job 22:26]. “At the right hand are delightseven to the end” [Ps 15:10]. Likewise, if

honors are desired, there too will be all

honor. Men wish particularly to be kings, if

they be laymen; and to be bishops, if they

be clerics. Both these honors will be there:

“And has made us a kingdom and priests”

[Rev 5:10]. “Behold how they are

numbered among the children of God”

[Wis 5:5]. If knowledge is desired, it will be

there most perfectly, because we shall

possess in the life everlasting knowledge

of all the natures of things and all truth,

and whatever we desire we shall know.

And whatever we desire to possess, that

we shall have, even life eternal: “Now, all

good things come to me together with her”

[Wis 7:11]. “To the just their desire shall be

given” [Prov 10:24].

Tertio consistit in perfecta

securitate: nam in mundo isto non

est perfecta securitas: quia quanto

quis habet plura et magis eminet,

tanto plura timet et pluribus indiget;

sed in vita aeterna nulla est tristitia,

nullus labor, nullus timor. Prov. I33: abundantia perfruetur, malorum 

timore sublato .

Again, most perfect security is there. In this

world there is no perfect security; for in so

far as one has many things, and the higher

one’s position, the more one has to fear

and the more one wants. But in the life

everlasting there is no anxiety, no labor,

no fear. “And My people shall sit in thebeauty of peace”[Is 32:10], and “shall

enjoy abundance, without fear of evils”

[Prov 1:33].

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Quarto consistit in omnium

beatorum iucunda societate, quae

societas erit maxime delectabilis:

quia quilibet habebit omnia bona

cum omnibus beatis. Nam quilibet

diliget alium sicut seipsum; et ideo

gaudebit de bono alterius sicut desuo. Quo fit ut tantum augeatur

laetitia et gaudium unius, quantum

est gaudium omnium. Psal.

LXXXVI, 7: sicut laetantium 

omnium habitatio est in te .

Finally, in heaven there will be the happy

society of all the blessed, and this society

will be especially delightful. Since each

one will possess all good together with the

blessed, and they will love one another as

themselves, and they will rejoice in the

others’ good as their own. It will alsohappen that, as the pleasure and

enjoyment of one increases, so will it be

for all: “The dwelling in you is as it were of

all rejoicing” [Ps 86:7 Vulgate].

Lot of the wicked

Haec quae dicta sunt, et multaineffabilia habebunt sancti qui

erunt in patria. Mali vero, qui erunt

in morte aeterna, non minus

habebunt de dolore et poena quam

boni de gaudio et gloria.

Exaggeratur autem poena eorum,

primo ex separatione Dei et

omnium bonorum. Et haec est

poena damni, quae respondetaversioni, quae poena maior est

quam poena sensus. Matth. XXV,

3 0 : inutilem servum eiicite in 

tenebras exteriores . In vita enim

ista mali habent tenebras

interiores, scilicet peccati; sed tunc

habebunt etiam exteriores.

The perfect will enjoy all this in the lifeeverlasting, and much more that

surpasses description. But the wicked, on

the other hand, will be in eternal death

suffering pain and punishment as great as

will be the happiness and glory of the

good. The punishment of the damned will

be increased, firstly, by their separation

from God and from all good. This is the

pain of loss which corresponds toaversion, and is a greater punishment than

that of sense: “And the unprofitable

servant, cast out into the exterior

darkness” [Mt 25:30]. The wicked in this

life have interior darkness, namely sin; but

then they shall also have exterior


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Secundo ex remorsu conscientiae.

Psal. XLIX, 21: arguam te et 

statuam contra faciem tuam . Sap.

V, 3: prae angustia spiritus 

gementes . Et tamen haec

poenitentia et gemitus erit inutilis,

quia non propter odium mali, sedpropter dolorem poenae. Tertio ex

immensitate poenae sensibilis,

scilicet ignis Inferni, qui animam et

corpus cruciabit: quae est

acerbissima poenarum, sicut

dicunt sancti; et erunt sicut semper

morientes, et nunquam mortui nec

morituri: unde dicitur mors aeterna,

quia sicut moriens est in acerbitate

poenarum, sic et illi qui sunt in

Inferno. Psal. XLVIII, 15: sicut oves 

in Inferno positi sunt: mors 

depascet eos . Quarto ex

desperatione salutis. Nam si eis

daretur spes liberationis a poenis,

eorum poena mitigaretur; sed cum

subtrahitur eis omnis spes, poena

efficitur gravissima. Isai. LXVI, 24:

vermis eorum non morietur, et ignis eorum non extinguetur .

Secondly, the damned shall suffer from

remorse of conscience: “I will rebuke you,

and set the charge before you” [Ps 49:21].

“Groaning for anguish of spirit” [Wis 5:3].

Nevertheless, their repentance and

groaning will be of no avail, because it

rises not from hatred of evil, but from fearand the enormity of their punishments.

Thirdly, there is the great pain of sense. It

is the fire of hell which tortures the soul

and the body; and this, as the Saints tell

us, is the sharpest of all punishments.

They shall be ever dying, and yet never

die; hence it is called eternal death, for as

dying is the bitterest of pains, such will be

the lot of those in hell: “They are laid in the

underworld like sheep; death shall feed

upon them” [Ps 48:15]. Fourthly, there is

the despair of their salvation. If some hope

of delivery from their punishments would

be given them, their punishment would be

somewhat lessened; but since all hope is

withdrawn from them, their sufferings are

made most intense: “Their worm shall not

die, and their fire shall not be quenched.[Is


Sic ergo patet differentia inter bene

operari et male: quia bona opera

ducunt ad vitam, mala autem

trahunt ad mortem; et propter hoc

homines deberent frequenter

reducere haec ad memoriam, quia

ex hoc provocarentur ad bonum et

We thus see the difference between doing

good and doing evil. Good works lead to

life, evil drags us to death. For this reason,

men ought frequently to recall these things

to mind, since they will incite one to do

good and withdraw one from evil.

Therefore very significantly at the end of