Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/451

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AMELIUS
AMEN
407

power in the centre of Italy the temporal power of the popes grew from day to day. There are 20 parishes, 31 secular priests, 43 regular priests, 78 churches and chapels. The population is 19,500.

Ughelelli. Italia Sacra (Venice, 1722): Cappelletti. Le chuat d'ttalia (Venice. 180G): Ciams, Series epUcoporum Ecclesior catholicae (Riatisbon, 1873); Eroli, Scavi d'Amelia (Rome, 1881).

Ernesto Buonaiuti. 


Amelius, Gentilianus. See Neo-Platonism.


Amelote, Denis, b. at Saintes, 1609; d. in Paris, 7 October, 1678. He was ordained in 1631, was a Doctor of the Sorbonne, and member of the French Oratory. His French translation of the New Testament (4 vols.. 1666–70) was highly valued and often reprinted. His other Scriptural works are mostly extracts from his New Testament edition. As a strenuous opponent of the Jansenists, he wrote “Defensio Constitutionum Innocentii XI et Alexandri VII”.

Hurter. Nomenclator, II, 146; Ingold in Vig., Dict. de la bible (Paris, 1895).

Amen.—' The word Amen is one of a small number of Hebrew words which have been imported unchanged into the liturgy of the Church, propter sanctiorem auctoritatem as St. Augustiiie expresses it, in virtue of an exceptionally sacred example. "So frequent was this Hebrew word in the mouth of Our Sanour", observes the Catechism of the Council of Trent, " that it ple;ised the Holv Ghost to have it perpetuated in the Church of God" In point of fact St. Matthew attributes it to Our Lord twenty-eight times, and St. Jolin in its doul)led form twenty-six times. As regards the etymology, .men is a derivative from the Hebrew verb aman (אמק) " to strengthen " or "confirm".

Scriptural Use.—I. In the Holy Scripture it appears almost invariably as an adverb, and its primary use is to indicate that the speaker adopts for his own what v..s already been said by another. This in Jer., xxviii, 6, the prophet represents him- self as answering to IIanaiii:is's prophecy of happier days; "Anion, the Lord perform the words which thou hast firopliesicd ". And in the imprecations of Deut., xxvii, 14 sqq, we read, for example: " Cursed be he that honourcth not his father and mother, and all the people shall say Amen". From this, some liturgical use of the word appears to have developed long before the coming of Jesus Christ. Thus we may compare I Paralipomenon, xvi, 36, " Bleissed be the Lord God of Israel from eternity; and let the people .say Amen and a hymn to God", with Ps., cv, 48, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel from everlasting: and let all the people sav: so be it" (cf. also II Esdras, viii, 6), these last words in the Septuagint being represented by y^yotro, y^votTo, and in the Vulgate, which follows the Septuagint hy fiat, fiat: but the Massoretic text gives "Amen, Alleluia". Talmudic tradition tells us that Amen w;us not said in the Temple, but only in the syna- gogues (cf. h'dersheim. The Temple, p. 127), but by this we probably ouglit to understand not that the .saying .men was forbidden in the Temple, but only that the respoiise of the congregation, being delayed until the end for fear of interrupting the exceptional .solemnity of the rite, demanded a more extensive and impressive formula than a simple Amen. The faniliarity of the usage of .saying Amen at the end of all prayers, even before the Christian era, is evi- denced by Tobiiis, ix, 12. — II. A second use of Amen most common in the New Testament, but not quite unknown in the Old, has no reference to the words of any other person, but is simply a form of aflirma- tion or confirmation of the speaker's own thought, sometimes introducing it, sometimes following it. Itfi employment as an introductory formula seems to be peculiar to the speeches of Our Saviour recorded in the Cios|jels, and it is noteworthy that, while in the Synoptists one Amen is used, in St. John the word is invariably doubled. (Cf. the double Amen of conclusion m Num., v, 22, etc.) In the Catholic (i. e. the Keinis) tians- lation of the Gos|X!ls, the Hebrew word is for the most part retained, but in the Protestant "Author- ized crsion" it is rendered by "Verily". When Amen is thus used by Our Lord to introduce a state- ment He seems especially to make a demand upon the faith of His hearers in His word or in His power; e. g. John, viii, 58, "Amen, Amen, I say unto jou, before Abraham was made, I am". In other parts of the New Testament, especially in the Kpistles of St. Paul, Amen usually concludes a prayer or a dox- ology, e. g. Rom., .i, 36, "To Him be glory for ever. Amen." We also find it sometimes attached to blessings, e. g. Rom., .xv, 33, " Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen"; but this usage is much rarer, and in many apparent instances, e. g. all those appealed to by Abbot Cabrol, the Amen is really a later inter[M)lation. — III. Lastly the common | rac- tice of concluding any discourse or chapter of a sub- ject with a doxology ending in Amen seems to have led to a third distinctive use of the word in which it appears as nothing more than a formula of conclu- sion — finis. In the best Greek codices the book of Tobias ends in this way with Amen, and the Vulgate gives it at the end of St. Luke's Gospel. This seems to be the best explanation of Apoc, iii, 14: "These things saith the .men, the faithful and true witness who is the beginning of the creation of God". 'I he Amen who is also the beginning would tlms suggest much the same idea as "I am Alpha and Omega" of Apoc, i, 8, or "The first and the last" of Apoc, ii. 8.

Liturgical Use.—The employment of Amen in the synagogues as the people's answer to a prayer said aloud bv a representative must no doubt have been adopted in their own worship by the Christians of the .ViKJstolic age. This at least is the only natural sense in which to interpret the use of the word in I Cor., xiv, 16, " Else if thou shall ble,ss with the spirit, how shall he that holdcth the place of the unlearned say Amen to thy blessing?" (iriis ipet t6 d^jjv fVi TTJ aij evxapurrta) where t4 ifii]v seems dearly to mean "the customary Amen". In the beginning, however, its use seems to have been limited to tlie congregation, who made answer to some public prayer, and it was not spoken by him who olTered the prayer (see von der Goltz, Das Gebet in der iiltesten Christcnlieit, p. 160). It is perhaps one of the most reliable indications of the early data of the "Didache", or "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles", that, although several short liturgical fornmUc are embodied in this document, the word Amen occurs but once, and then in company with the word mara- natha, aiiparently as an ejaculation of the assembly. As regards these liturgical formuhc In the "Didache", which include the Our Father, we may, however, Eerhaps suppose that the Amen w;is not written ccause it was taken for granted that after the dox- ology those present would answer Amen as a matter of course. Again, in the apocryphal but early " Acta Johannis" (ed. Bonnet, c. xciv, p. 197) we find a series of short prayers spoken by the Saint to which the bystanders regularly answer Amen. But it cannot have been very long before the Amen was in many cases added by the utterer of the prayer. We have a noteworthy instance in the prayer of St. Polycarp at his martyrdom, A. D. 155, on which occasion we are expressly told in a contemporary document that the e.ccitioners waited until Polycarp comjilotcil his prayer, and "pronounced the word Amou". l)efore Ihey kindled the fire bv which he perislied. We may fairly infer from this tliat before the middle of the second century it had become a familiar prac-