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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > H


This list represents only a tiny fraction of articles available on the New Advent website. For a more complete list, please see the full index for H or use the search box at the top of this page.

Habacuc - Article on the minor prophet of the Old Testament, and his book
Habakkuk - Article on the minor prophet of the Old Testament, and his book
Habit - Habit is an effect of repeated acts and an aptitude to reproduce them, and may be defined as 'a quality difficult to change, whereby an agent whose nature it is to work one way or another indeterminately, is disposed easily and readily at will to follow this or that particular line of action'
Haceldama - The name given by the people to the potter's field, purchased with the price of the treason of Judas
Hadrian, Publius Ælius - Emperor of the Romans; born 24 January, A.D. 76 at Rome; died 10 July, 138
Haggai - The tenth among the minor prophets of the Old Testament
Hagiography - The name given to that branch of learning which has the saints and their worship for its object
Hail Holy Queen - The opening words (used as a title) of the most celebrated of the four Breviary anthems of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Hail Mary - Analysis of the prayer Ave Maria: origins and development
Hair (in Christian Antiquity) - The paintings in the catacombs permit the belief that the early Christians simply followed the fashion of their time. The short hair of the men and the waved tresses of the women were, towards the end of the second century, curled, frizzed with irons, and arranged in tiers, while for women the hair twined about the head forming a high diadem over the brow
Hairshirt - A garment of rough cloth made from goats' hair and worn in the form of a shirt or as a girdle around the loins, by way of mortification and penance
Haiti - An island of the Greater Antilles
Halloween - Celebrated on the first of November. Instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year
Ham, Hamites - Son of Noe and progenitor of one of the three great races of men whose ethnographical table is given by Genesis 10
Hammurabi - The sixth king of the first Babylonian dynasty
Happiness - The primary meaning of this term in all the leading European languages seems to involve the notion of good fortune, good chance, good happening
Haraldson, Saint Olaf - Martyr and King of Norway, d. 1030
Harmony - A concord of sounds, several tones of different pitch sounded as a chord; among the Greeks, the general term for music
Harold Bluetooth - Son of King Gorm the Old of Denmark (911-986)
Harris, Joel Chandler - Folklorist, novelist, poet, journalist; born at Eatonton, Georgia, U.S.A., 1848; died at Atlanta, Georgia, 3 July, 1908
Harrowing of Hell - This is the Old English and Middle English term for the triumphant descent of Christ into hell (or Hades) between the time of His Crucifixion and His Resurrection, when, according to Christian belief, He brought salvation to the souls held captive there since the beginning of the world
Hatred - In general, a vehement aversion entertained by one person for another, or for something more or less identified with that other
Haydn, Franz Joseph - Famous composer (1732-1809)
Haydock, George Leo - Priest and biblical scholar (1774-1849)
Heart of Jesus, Devotion to the - Description, spiritual significance, and historical background of devotion to the Sacred Heart
Heart of Mary, Devotion to the - Description of this devotion, along with its history
Heaven - In the Holy Bible the term heaven denotes, in the first place, the blue firmament, or the region of the clouds that pass along the sky. Gen., i, 20, speaks of the birds 'under the firmament of heaven'. In other passages it denotes the region of the stars that shine in the sky. Furthermore heaven is spoken of as the dwelling of God; for, although God is omnipresent, He manifests Himself in a special manner in the light and grandeur of the firmament
Hebrew Bible - As compared with the Latin Vulgate, the Hebrew Bible includes the entire Old Testament with the exception of the seven deuterocanonical books, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, I and II Machabees, and the deuterocanonical portions of Esther (x, 4 to end) and Daniel (iii, 24-90; xiii; xiv)
Hebrew Language and Literature - Hebrew was the language spoken by the ancient Israelites, and in which were composed nearly all of the books of the Old Testament
Hebrews, Epistle to the - The central thought of the entire Epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and His Divine mediatorial office
Hecker, Isaac Thomas - Missionary, author, founder of the Paulists; b. in New York, 18 December, 1819; d. there, 22 Dec., 1888
Hedonism - The name given to the group of ethical systems that hold, with various modifications, that feelings of pleasure or happiness are the highest and final aim of conduct; that, consequently those actions which increase the sum of pleasure are thereby constituted right, and, conversely, what increases pain is wrong
Hedwig, Saint - Duchess of Silesia, aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Hedwig married Henry I, and was the mother of seven. Upon her husband's death, she entered a Cistercian monastery. Died 1243
Hegelianism - Article by William Turner, evaluating this school of thought
Helena, Saint - The mother of Constantine the Great, she died about 330
Helen of Sköfde, Saint - Biography of the twelfth-century Swedish widow and martyr, killed in perhaps the year 1160
Heli - Discusses the Old Testament priest, and the New Testament father of Joseph
Hell - Hell (infernus) in theological usage is a place of punishment after death
Helmont, Jan Baptista van - Born at Brussels, 1577; died near Vilvorde, 30 December, 1644. This scientist, distinguished in the early annals of chemistry, belonged to a Flemish family
Hennepin, Louis - One of the most famous explorers in the wilds of North America during the seventeenth century
Henoch - The name of the son of Cain (Gen., iv, 17, 18), of a nephew of Abraham (Gen., xxv, 4), of the first-born of Ruben (Gen., xlvi, 9), and of the son of Jared and the father of Mathusala (Gen., v. 18 sq.)
Henoch, Book of - Introductory article
Henry II - Biographical article that focuses on the King of England's constitutional and legal reforms, and his conflict with Thomas Becket
Henry II, Saint - Biography of the German king and Holy Roman Emperor, d. 1024
Henry IV - King of France and Navarre (1553-1610)
Henry IV - German king and Holy Roman Emperor (1050-1108)
Henry VIII - Lengthy article which concentrates on Henry's break with the Church of Rome
Henry Suso, Blessed - Biography of this German Dominican mystic, d. 1366
Henry the Navigator, Prince - Born 4 March, 1394; died 13 November, 1460; he was the fourth son of John I, King of Portugal, by Queen Philippa, a daughter of John of Gaunt
Heptarchy - By the term heptarchy is understood that complexus of seven kingdoms, into which, roughly speaking, Anglo-Saxon Britain was divided for nearly three centuries, until at last the supremacy, about the year 829, fell definitely and finally into the hands of Wessex
Heraldry, Ecclesiastical - Information on heraldry as it is used in and by the Catholic Church
Herbart and Herbartianism - Article on the life and philosophy of Johann Friedrich Herbart, by Michael Maher
Herder - The name of a German firm of publishers and booksellers
Heredity - The offspring tends to resemble, sometimes with extraordinary closeness, the parents
Heresy - St. Thomas defines heresy: 'a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas'
Hermann Contractus - Chronicler, mathematician, and poet (1013-1054)
Hermanos Penitentes, Los - A society of flagellants existing among the Spanish of New Mexico and Colorado.
Hermas - First or second century, author of the book called 'The Shepherd' (Poimen, Pastor), a work which had great authority in ancient times and was ranked with Holy Scripture
Hermeneutics - Derived from a Greek word connected with the name of the god Hermes, the reputed messenger and interpreter of the gods
Hermits - Also called anchorites, men who fled the society of their fellow-men to dwell alone in retirement
Hermits of St. Augustine - A religious order which in the thirteenth century combined several monastic societies into one, under this name
Hermon - A group of mountains forming the southern extremity of Anti-Lebanon, and marking on the east of the Jordan the northern boundary of Israel
Herod - Herod was the name of many rulers mentioned in the N.T. and in history. It was known long before the time of the biblical Herods
Herodias - Wife of Herod Philip, and mistress of Herod Antipas
Heroic Act of Charity - A decree of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences dated 18 December, 1885, and confirmed the following day by Leo XIII
Heroic Virtue - St. Augustine first applied the pagan title of hero to the Christian martyrs
Hesychasm - Hesychasts (hesychastes — quietist) were people, nearly all monks, who defended the theory that it is possible by an elaborate system of asceticism, detachment from earthly cares, submission to an approved master, prayer, especially perfect repose of body and will, to see a mystic light; which is none other than the uncreated light of God
Hexaemeron - Signifies a term of six days, or, technically, the history of the six days' work of creation, as contained in the first chapter of Genesis
Hexapla - Article on Origen's compilation of six ancient versions of the Bible in parallel columns, his purpose and the principles that guided his work
Hezekiah - King of Juda, son and successor of Achaz
Hibernians, Ancient Order of - This organization grew up gradually among the Catholics of Ireland owing to the dreadful hardships and persecutions to which they were subjected
Hidalgo, Miguel - Mexican patriot (1753-1811)
Hierarchy - This word has been used to denote the totality of ruling powers in the Church, ever since the time of the Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita (sixth century), who consecrated the expression in his works, 'The Celestial Hierarchy' and 'The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy'
Hierarchy of the Early Church - The word hierarchy is used here to denote the three grades of bishop, priest, and deacon (ministri)
High Altar - The chief altar in a church, raised on an elevated plane in the sanctuary, where it may be seen simultaneously by all the faithful in the body of the church
Higher Criticism - Biblical criticism in its fullest comprehension is the examination of the literary origins and historical values of the books composing the Bible, with the state in which these exist at the present day
High Priest, The - The chief priest in the Old Testament
Hilarius, Pope Saint - As an archdeacon, he had acted as one of Pope St. Leo the Great's legates at the 'Robber Synod.' Biographical article
Hilarus, Pope Saint - As an archdeacon, he had acted as one of Pope St. Leo the Great's legates at the 'Robber Synod.' Biographical article
Hilary of Poitiers, Saint - Biographical article on this bishop, a staunch opponent of Arianism, who died in 368. Includes bibliography
Hilda, Saint - Biographical article on the influential abbess, who died in 680
Hildegard, Saint - Seer and prophet, Sibyl of the Rhine, d. 1179. Never formally canonized, but she is listed in the Roman Martyrology
Hillel - Short essay on the Jewish rabbi and philosopher
Hilton, Walter - Article about the spiritual writings of this Augustinian mystic, d. 1396
Hinduism - The conglomeration of religious beliefs and practices existing in India that have grown out of ancient Brahminism
Hippo Regius - Titular see of Numidia
Hippolytus of Rome, Saint - Presbyter, antipope, martyr, died about 236
Historical Criticism - The art of distinguishing the true from the false concerning facts of the past
History, Ecclesiastical - A survey of the role of church history, the history of the Catholic Church and historiography of church history
Holbein, Hans - A German painter; b. at Augsburg about 1460; d. at Isenheim, Alsace, in 1524
Holiness - Holiness or sanctity is the outcome of sanctification, that Divine act by which God freely justifies us, and by which He has claimed us for His own; by our resulting sanctity, in act as well as in habit, we claim Him as our Beginning and as the End towards which we daily unflinchingly tend
Holmes, John - Catholic educator and priest; born at Windsor, Vermont, in 1799; died at Lorette, near Quebec, Canada, in 1852
Holocaust - As suggested by its Greek origin (holos 'whole', and kaustos 'burnt') the word designates an offering entirely consumed by fire, in use among the Jews and some pagan nations of antiquity. [Definition from 1910.]
Holy Coat - The possession of the seamless garment of Christ, for which the soldiers cast lots at the Crucifixion, is claimed by the cathedral of Trier and by the parish church of Argenteuil
Holy Communion - By Communion is meant the actual reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist
Holy Cross, Congregation of - A body of priests and lay brothers constituted in the religious state by the simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and bearing the common name of Religious of Holy Cross
Holy Cross, Sisters of the - Mother House, St. Mary's of the Immaculate Conception, Notre Dame, Indiana
Holy Ghost - The doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning the Holy Ghost forms an integral part of her teaching on the mystery of the Holy Trinity
Holy Ghost, Religious Congregations of the - Several groups by this name are covered
Holy Grail, The - The name of a legendary sacred vessel, variously identified with the chalice of the Eucharist or the dish of the Pascal lamb, and the theme of a famous medieval cycle of romance
Holy House of Loreto - Since the fifteenth century, and possibly even earlier, the 'Holy House' of Loreto has been numbered among the most famous shrines of Italy
Holy Innocents - Fairly long article on these children, and the commemoration of their martyrdom. Both Western and Eastern Christianity
Holy Name, Society of the - A.k.a. Holy Name Society. Men's confraternity to encourage prayer
Holy Name of Jesus - Reverence for the name of Jesus is not optional for believers. Article highlights the Scriptural reasons, and describes some customary ways of showing reverence
Holy Oils - Oil is a product of great utility the symbolic signification of which harmonizes with its natural uses. It serves to sweeten, to strengthen, to render supple; and the Church employs it for these purposes in its rites
Holy Orders - The sacrament by which grace and spiritual power for the discharge of ecclesiastical offices are conferred.
Holy Saturday - In the early Church this was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted (Constit. Apost., VII, 23), and the fast was one of special severity
Holy See - A term derived from the enthronement-ceremony of the bishops of Rome
Holy Sepulchre - The tomb in which the Body of Jesus Christ was laid after His death upon the Cross
Holy Sepulchre, Knights of the - A secular confraternity which gradually grew up around the most august of the Holy Places
Holy Spirit - The doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning the Holy Ghost forms an integral part of her teaching on the mystery of the Holy Trinity
Holy Stairs (Scala Sancta) - Consisting of twenty-eight white marble steps, at Rome, near the Lateran; according to tradition the staircase leading once to the praetorium of Pilate at Jerusalem, hence sanctified by the footsteps of Our Lord during his Passion
Holy Synod - The name of the council by which the Church of Russia and, following its example, many other Orthodox Churches are governed
Holy Thursday - The feast of Maundy (or Holy) Thursday solemnly commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and is the oldest of the observances peculiar to Holy Week
Holy Water - In the earliest Christian times, water was used for expiatory and purificatory purposes, to a way analogous to its employment under the Jewish Law
Holy Water Fonts - Vessels intended for the use of holy water
Holy Week - The week which precedes the great festival of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, and which consequently is used to commemorate the Passion of Christ, and the event which immediately led up to it
Holy Year of Jubilee - Background information relating to the Jubilee
Homicide - Signifies, in general, the killing of a human being. In practice, however, the word has come to mean the unjust taking away of human life, perpetrated by one distinct from the victim and acting in a private capacity
Homiletics - Lengthy historical article. Includes extensive bibliography
Homily - Etymology, early development. Also a summary of four ways of preaching on Scripture
Homoousion - The word used by the Council of Nicaea (325) to express the Divinity of Christ
Honorius I, Pope - Reigned 625-638
Honorius II, Pope - Archdeacon of Bologna. Died at Rome, 14 February, 1130
Honorius III, Pope - Born at Rome, date of birth unknown; died at Rome, 18 March, 1227
Honorius IV, Pope - Born at Rome about 1210; died at Rome, 3 April, 1287
Honour - May be defined as the deferential recognition by word or sign of another's worth or station
Hood - A flexible, conical, brimless head-dress, covering the entire head, except the face
Hope - The desire of something together with the expectation of obtaining it
Hopi Indians - A tribe of Pueblo Indians of Shoshonean stock
Hopkins, Gerard Manley - Jesuit and poet (1844-1889)
Hormisdas, Pope Saint - Died 523. The father of Pope Silverius
Hosanna - The general opinion is that of St. Jerome, that the word originated from two Hebrew words of Psalm 117:25. This psalm, was recited by one of the priests every day during the procession round the altar, during the Feast of Tabernacles, when the people were commanded to 'rejoice before the Lord' (Leviticus 23:40); and on the seventh day it was recited each time during the seven processions
Hosea - The prophet and his book
Hospice - During the early centuries of Christianity the hospice was a shelter for the sick, the poor, the orphans, the old, the travellers and the needy of every kind
Hospitality - In the religious orders the duty of hospitality was insisted upon from the beginning both in East and West
Hospitallers - During the Middle Ages, among the hospitals established throughout, religious of both sexes lived under one roof, following the Rule of St. Augustine
Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem - The most important of all the military orders, both for the extent of its area and for its duration
Hospitals - Originally, hospital meant a place where strangers or visitors were received; in the course of time, its use was restricted to institutions for the care of the sick
Host - Archaeological and historical aspects
Hottentots - One of three tribes of South Africa which may be divided Bantus, Hottentots, and Bushmen
Hours, Canonical - Essay on the practice of reciting the Divine Office according to set hours
Hours, Liturgy of the - Brief essay on the historical development of the Liturgy of the Hours
Hroswitha - A celebrated nun-poetess of the tenth century, whose name has been given in various forms, Roswitha, Hrotswitha, Hrosvitha, and Hrotsuit; born probably between 930 and 940, died about 1002
Hubert, Saint - Confessor, first bishop of Liege, d. 727 or 728
Hugh, Saint - Article on Little St. Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh Capet - King of France, founder of the Capetian dynasty, b. about the middle of the tenth century; d. about 996, probably 24 October
Hughes, John - Fourth bishop and first Archbishop of New York, born at Annaloghan, Co. Tyrone, Ireland, 24 June, 1797 of Patrick Hughes and Margaret McKenna: died in New York, 3 January, 1864
Hugh of Lincoln, Saint - Biography of this Augustinian and later a Carthusian, d. 1200, canonized 1220
Hugh of St. Victor - Lengthy essay on the life and writings of this philosopher, theologian, and mystical writer
Hugh the Great, Saint - Biographical article on the distinguished and influential Abbot of Cluny, d. 1109
Huguenots - An extensive history of this French Protestant tradition
Human Acts - St. Thomas and the scholastics in general regard only the free and deliberate acts of the will as human
Humanism - The name given to the intellectual, literary, and scientific movement of the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, which aimed at basing every branch of learning on the literature and culture of classical antiquity
Humeral Veil - The name given to a cloth of rectangular shape about 8 feet long and 18 inches wide
Humility - The word humility signifies lowliness or submissiveness an it is derived from the Latin humilitas or, as St. Thomas says, from humus, i.e. the earth which is beneath us
Hungarian Catholics in America - Information about immigrants from this country
Hungary - History of the country
Hunting, Canons on - From early times, hunting, in one form or another has been forbidden to clerics
Huron Indians - If language may be taken as a fair criterion to go by, the Hurons proper were the original stock from which sprang all the branches of the great Iroquoian family, whether included in the primitive federation of the Five Nations, or standing apart territorially, within historical times, as did the Tuskaroras, the Cherokees, and the Andastes
Hurter - Several members of this family detailed
Hus, Jan - Biographical article, with extensive hyperlinks
Hussites - The followers of Jan Hus did not of themselves assume the name of Hussites. Like Hus, they believed their creed to be truly Catholic; in papal and conciliar documents they appear as Wycliffites, although Hus and even Jerome of Prague are also named as their leaders
Hyacinth, Saint - Polish Dominican, died in 1257
Hyderabad-Deccan, Diocese of - Hyderabad, also called Bhagnagar, and Fakhunda Bunyad, capital of the Nizam's dominions, was founded in 1589, by Mohammed Kuli, King of Golconda
Hyginus, Pope Saint - Greek by birth, the successor of Pope Telesphorus. Died in about 142
Hylozoism - The doctrine according to which all matter possesses life
Hymn - A derivative of the Latin hymnus, which comes from the Greek hymnos, derived from hydein, to sing
Hymnody and Hymnology - Hymnody means exactly 'hymn song', but as the hymn-singer as well as the hymn-poet are included under (hymnodos), so we also include under hymnody the hymnal verse or religious lyric. Hymnology is the science of hymnody or the historico-philogical investigation and aesthetic estimation of hymns and hymn writers
Hypnotism - The nervous sleep, induced by artificial and external means, which has been made the subject of experiment and methodical study by men of science, physicians or physiologists
Hypocrisy - The pretension to qualities which one does not possess, or, more cognately to the scope of this article, the putting forward of a false appearance of virtue or religion
Hypostatic Union - A theological term used with reference to the Incarnation to express the revealed truth that in Christ one person subsists in two natures, the Divine and the human
Hyssop - A plant which is referred to in a few passages of Holy Writ, and which cannot be identified with certainty at the present day
Copyright © 2009 by Kevin Knight ( Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.