New Advent
 Home   Encyclopedia   Summa   Fathers   Bible   Library 
 A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 
Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > P > Parabolani

Parabolani

Help support New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download or CD-ROM. Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more — all for only $19.99...

paraboloi, parabalanoi

The members of a brotherhood who in the Early Church voluntarily undertook the care of the sick and the burial of the dead. It has been asserted, though without sufficient proof, that the brotherhood was first organized during the great plague in Alexandria in the episcopate of Dionysius the Great (second half of third century). They received their name from the fact that they risked their lives (paraballesthai ten zoen) in exposing themselves to contagious diseases. In addition to performing works of mercy they constituted a bodyguard for the bishop. Their number was never large. The Codex Theodosianus of 416 (xvi, 2, 42) restricted the enrolment in Alexandria to 500. A new law two years later increased the number to 600. In Constantinople the number was reduced according to the Codex Justinianus (I, 2, 4) from 1100 to 950. The Parabolani are not mentioned after Justinian's time. Though they were chosen by the bishop and always remained under his control, the Codex Theodosianus placed them under the supervision of the Prœfectus Augustalis. They had neither orders nor vows, but they were enumerated among the clergy and enjoyed clerical privileges and immunities. Their presence at public gatherings or in the theatres was forbidden by law. At times they took a very active part in ecclesiastical controversies, as at the Robber Synod of Ephesus.


Sources

BINTERIM, Denkwürdigkeiten der chriskath. Kirche, VI, 3, 30; BINGHAM, Antiquities, II, 37.

About this page

APA citation. Healy, P. (1911). Parabolani. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11467a.htm

MLA citation. Healy, Patrick. "Parabolani." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11467a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is webmaster at newadvent.org. Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.

Copyright © 2012 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

CONTACT US