Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei
Agnus Dei
The name given to certain discs of wax impressed with the figure of a lamb and blessed at stated seasons by the Pope

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Agnus Dei
    Agnus Dei
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Agnus Dei
    The name Agnus Dei has been given to certain discs of wax impressed with the figure of a lamb and blessed at stated seasons by the Pope. They are sometimes round, sometimes oval in diameter. The lamb usually bears a cross or flag, while figures of saints or the name and arms of the Pope are also commonly impressed on the reverse. These Agnus Deis may be worn suspended round the neck, or they may be preserved as objects of devotion. In virtue of the consecration they receive, they are regarded, like holy water, blessed palms, etc., as "Sacramentals".
    The origin of Agnus Deis is a matter of much obscurity. Recent authorities lay stress upon the lack of evidence for their existence before the ninth century. But it seems probable that they had their beginning in some pagan usage of charms or amulets, from which the ruder populace were weaned by the enjoyment of this Christian substitute blessed by prayer. The early history of Catholic ceremonial affords numerous parallels for this Christianizing of pagan rites. It is not disputed that the Agnus Deis originated in Rome. If so, we may probably trace the custom back to the final overthrow of Paganism in that city, say the fifth century. We know that when we first hear of them (c. 820) they were made of the remnants of the preceding year's paschal candle. We also know from Ennoldius (c. 510) that fragments of the paschal candles were used as a protection against tempests and blight (Migne, P.L., LXIII, pp. 259, 262). It is also possible that a mention of the blessing of wax under Pope Zosimus (418) in the "Liber Pontificalis" (first edition) should be interpreted, with Mgr. Duchesne, of the Agnus Dei, though it more probably refers to the paschal candle. It was at this period and before the Trullan Council of 691 that the symbolism of the Lamb most flourished; see the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus. The alleged examples of early Agnus Deis, e.g. one of Gregory the Great in the treasury of Monza (see Kraus, "Real-Encyclopadie," s.v.) cannot be trusted. The earliest certain specimen now in existence seems to belong to the time of Gregory XI (1370).
    From the time of Amalarius (c. 820) onwards we find frequent mention of the use of Agnus Deis. At a later period they were often sent by the Popes as presents to sovereigns and distinguished personages. A famous letter in verse accompanied the Agnus Dei despatched by Urban V to the Emperor John Palaeologus in 1366. In the penal laws of Queen Elizabeth Agnus Deis are frequently mentioned among other "popish trumperies" the importation of which into England was rigorously forbidden.
    We learn from an "Ordo Romanus" printed by Muratori ("Lit. Rom", II, p. 1,004) that in the ninth century the archdeacon manufactured the Agnus Deis early on Holy Saturday morning out of clean wax mixed with chrism, and that they were distributed by him to the people on the Saturday following (Sabbato in Albis). At a later date the Pope himself generally assisted at both the blessing and the distribution. The great consecration of Agnus Deis took place only in the first year of each pontificate and every seventh year afterwards, which rule is still followed. The discs of wax are now prepared beforehand by certain monks, and without the use of chrism. On the Wednesday of Easter week these discs are brought to the Pope, who dips them into a vessel of water mixed with chrism and balsam, adding various consecratory prayers. The distribution takes place with solemnity on the Saturday following, when the Pope, after the "Agnus Dei" of the Mass, puts a packet of Agnus Deis into the inverted mitre of each Cardinal and bishop who comes up to receive them.
    The symbolism of the Agnus Deis is best gathered from the prayers used at various epochs in blessing them. As in the paschal candle, the wax typifies the virgin flesh of Christ, the cross associated with the lamb suggests the idea of a victim offered in sacrifice, and as the blood of the paschal lamb of old protected each household from the destroying angel, so the purpose of these consecrated medallions is to protect those who wear or possess them from all malign influences. In the prayers of blessing, special mention is made of the perils from storm and pestilence, from fire and flood, and also of the dangers to which women are exposed in childbirth. It was formerly the custom in Rome to accompany the gift of an Agnus Dei with a printed leaflet describing its many virtues. Miraculous effects have been believed to follow the use of these objects of piety. Fires are said to have been extinguished, and floods stayed. The manufacture of counterfeits, and even the painting and ornamentation of genuine Agnus Deis, has been strictly prohibited by various papal bulls.
    There are also Agnus Deis of a grey colour, made from wax mingled with the dust which is believed to be that of the bones of martyrs. These, which are called "Paste de' SS. Martiri", are held to need no special consecration and are treated as Relics.
    MANGENOT in Dict de theol. cath., I, 605; HENRY in Dict. d'archeol., I, 909; KRAUS, Real-Encyclopadie, I, 29; BARBIER DE MONTAULT in Analecta Juris Pontificii, VIII, 1475; BALDASSARI, I Pontifici Agnus Dei (Venice, 1714); THURSTON, Holy Year of Jubilee (London, 1900); 247-256; BARBIER DE MONTAULT, Un Agnus Dei de Gregoire II (Poiters, 1886); COZZA LUZZI, Sopra un antico stampo di Agnus Dei in the Romanische Quartalschrift (1893), 263.
    Transcribed by Thomas M. Barrett In thanksgiving for the Sacramentals which bring us closer to God

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Agnus Dei — ● Agnus Dei nom masculin invariable (mots latins signifiant agneau de Dieu) Triple invocation de la messe, qui commence par ces mots. Dernière des cinq pièces constituant l ordinaire de la messe. (À l énoncé exécuté par le chantre ou le chœur… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Agnus Dei — Darstellung auf einem romanischen Türsturz von St. Remigius (Ingelheim) Agnus Dei (lat. Lamm Gottes, oder altgriechisch Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ (Amnòs tou Theou)) ist ein seit ältester Zeit im Christentum verbreitetes Symbol für Jesus Christus. Als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Agnus dei — Darstellung auf einem romanischen Türsturz von St. Remigius (Ingelheim) Agnus Dei (lat. Lamm Gottes, oder griechisch amnòs tὔ theὔ) ist ein seit ältester Zeit im Christentum verbreitetes Symbol für Jesus Christus. Als Osterlamm, gekennzeichnet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Agnus Dei — is a Latin term meaning Lamb of God , and was originally used to refer to Jesus Christ in his role of the perfect sacrificial offering that atones for the sins of humanity in Christian theology, harkening back to ancient Jewish Temple sacrifices …   Wikipedia

  • Agnus Dei — Agnus Dei. In der katholischen Kirche fängt sich ein lateinisches Gebet mit den Worten an: Agnus Dei, d. h. das Lamm Gottes. Zu Folge der Anfangsworte hat man das ganze Gebet so genannt. – Auch weiht und vertheilt der Papst rund geformte… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • agnus dei — Agnus Dei. ou Agnus. s. m. Le g moüille. C est une cire beniste par le Pape, sur laquelle est imprimée la figure d un agneau ou quelque autre image de pieté. Un bel agnus. on donne des agnus aux petits escoliers qui disent bien leur leçon …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Agnus Dei — Ag nus De i [L., lamb of God.] (R. C. Ch.) (a) A figure of a lamb bearing a cross or flag. (b) A cake of wax stamped with such a figure. It is made from the remains of the paschal candles and blessed by the Pope. (c) A triple prayer in the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Agnus Dei — [äg′noos dā′ē΄, ag′nəsdē′ī΄, än′yo͞os΄dma′ē΄; äg′noos dē′ī΄, ag′nəs dē′ī, än′yo͞osdē′ī΄] n. [L, Lamb of God] 1. a representation of Christ as a lamb, often holding a cross or flag 2. R.C.Ch. a) a little wax disk with a lamb pictured on it,… …   English World dictionary

  • Agnus Dei — d.h. Lamm Gottes, wie Johannes der Täufer Christum nannte. Diese Worte werden seit Papst Sergius, also dem 7. Jahrh., von dem Priester in der Messe gesprochen und von dem Chore gesungen. 2. Wächserne Lammbilder, welche aus dem übrig gebliebenen… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Agnus Dei — (Lamm Gottes), 1) (Gotteslämmchen), länglichrunde Platten von weißem Wachs (auch von Oblatenteig u. Silber), auf deren einer Seite ein Lamm mit der Kreuzfahne, auf der andern das Bild eines Heiligen abgedruckt ist, u. die von den übriggebliebenen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”