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BRANCATI


738


BRANDENBURG


of which, being of great merit, were reprinted by the Jesuit missionaries in the nineteenth century. Among these are a treatise on the Eucharist, instruc- tions on the Decalogue and on the Commandments of the Church, a refutation of di%nnations, and partic- ularly a Catechism, entitled in Chinese, " Conversa- tions of the Angels". The Russian Archimandrite, who was at the head of the Orthodox mission at Peking, published in the second decade of the nine- teenth century an extract from this Catechism, adapted to the Greek Rite, in which he omitted everything that disagreed mth the Russian schismatic teaching. Brancati also composed in Chinese sev- eral volumes of sermons and homilies for the Sundays and feast-days of the ecclesiastical year. His work on the Chinese rites was published in two volumes at Paris in 1700. It bears the title " De Sinensium Riti- bus politicis Acta", etc.

SoMMERVOGEL, BM. de lo c. de J., II. 81-8.3; Michaud, Biog. Univ., s. v.

B. GULDNER.

Brancati di Lauria, Fr.\ncesco Lorenzo, Car- dinal, Minor Conventual, and theologian, b. at Lau- ria in the then Kingdom of Naples, 10 April, 1612; d. in Rome, 30 November, 1693. Stricken at the age of seventeen with a dangerous illness, he made a vow that in the event of his recoverj' he would enter the order of Minor Conventuals. In July, 1630, he received the religious habit at Lecce in Apulia, and shortly after the completion of his novitiate was called to Rome, He subsequently ^^sited several of the most noted convents of his order in Italy, in which he taught philosophy and theologj- with marked success. In 1647, he was again recalled to Rome and was shortly afterwards made guardian of the convent attached to the Conventual Church of the Twelve Apostles, where the minister general of the order resides. In 16.53, he was appointed to the chair of dogmatic theology in the Roman University, and was later made Consultor of the Congregation of the Holy Office by Alexander VII who u.sed to call him "The right arm of the Apostolic See". He was made chief librarian of the Vatican library by Clement X, and in recognition of his devoted services to the Church was raised to the cardinalatial dignity by Innocent XI in 1681. As cardinal he was actively connected with at least ten of the Roman Congre- gations. Brancati would in all probability have succeeded Innocent XI in the chair of St. Peter, had not the Spanish Government used its right of veto. As it was he received fifteen votes, the successful candidate being Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni who took the name of Alexander VIII. Brancati was a man of vast learning, singular piety, and unbounded liberality towards the poor. During the twelve years he was cardinal, he continued to keep faithfully to the observance of his obligations as a religious, remaining with his brethren in the Convent of the Twelve Apostles, the church of which he caused to be completed and adorned. He prepared himself for death in a most edifjing manner, and had his tomb constructed with the inscription over it: "Ossa Fratris Laurentii Bran- cati de Lauria". He died in the eighty-first year of his age.

Brancati is the author of several important works on theology and asceticism. Perhaps the most noted of these is the commentary on the third and fourth books of the "Sentences" of Duns Scotus which appeared at Rome in eight folio volumes between the years 1653 and 1682. In this work he treats exhaustively wellnigh all the subjects that pertain to special dogmatic theology. In his "Opuscula tria de Deo", published at Rome in 1687, and at Rouen in 1705, he defends the gra- tuitousness of predestination which he endeavours


to show was taught by St. Augustine, though reliable authorities are not agreed as to whether St. Au- gustine was explicit on this point. Brancati's "Epitome Canonura", which went through two editions at Rome, four at Venice, and two at Co- logne, contains a complete list of all the canons to be found in the general and provincial councils, in the Decretals of Gratian and of Gregory IX, and in the encyclical letters and constitutions of the Roman Pontiffs up to the time of Alexander VII. Among his ascetical works maj' be mentioned the "Opuscula octo de oratione Christiana", pub- lished at Rome in 1685. a work in which the author exhibits his profound knowledge of the spiritual life of which he became a master more perhaps by his own holy living than by the abstract study of asceticism. The life of Brancati, written in Italian by Gabriele Baba, was published in Rome in 1699.

HuHTEH. Nomenclnlor (Innsbruck, 1893), II, 346; Gr.\m- MER in Kirchenlex., II. 1192.

Stephen Donovan.

Branch Churches, Theory of. See Church.

Branch Sunday, one of the medieval English names for Pahn Sunday. The difficulty of procuring palms for that day's ceremonies led to the substitu- tion of boughs of yew, willow, or other native trees. The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as "Yew Sunday" or by the general term " Branch Sunday". (See Palm Sunday.)

Fe.\sy, Ancient English Holy Week Ceremonial (London, 1897), 53 sqq.; Thurston, Holy Week (London, 1904), 225- 229.

John B. Peterson.

Brandenburg, formerly an electoral principality (the Mark of Brandenburg), and a diocese in the heart of the present Kingdom of Prussia, now a Province of Prussia and in ecclesiastical order an Apostolic Delegature.

I. History'. — The lands extending eastward from the Elbe to the Vistula, once inhabited by Germans, were invaded by Slavic tribes who, during the sixth century of the Christian era, pushed their way as far as the Elbe and the Saale in Thuringia. Charle- magne was the first to check their advance; later, Henrj- I attacked them, captured Brennabor, the strongliold of the Lusatians, and to safeguard liis conquests established the North Mark. In 939 Otto I brought the country of the Hevelli under his power, placed the Slavic races as far as the Oder under trib- ute, and to furtlier the work of their conversion founded the dioceses of Ha\'elberg and Brandenburg (948), which in 968 were placed under the recently founded Archdiocese of Magdeburg. Nevertheless, Christianity made slow progress. The hate of the subdued for their Cicnnan conquerors, far from abating, burst forth in a great uprising (983). The Slavs pressed on as far as the Elbe, conquered Brandenburg and Havelberg, and destroyed the seeds of Christian civilization that had been planted there. Emperors Henry II and Conrad II, it is true, again brought the Lusatians under the power of the German Empire, but the real evangelization of the eountrj- was not resumed until the time of Count .\lbertof Ballenstiidt, founder of the Ascanian line who had been made Margrave of the North Mark by Emperor Lothair II (1134). Albert entered into friendly relations with the Wendish prince, Pribislav at that time the ruler of Brandenburg, was chosen by him as his heir, and in 1150 took possession of the land, assuming at the same time the title of Margrave of Brandenburg. He brought colonists from the Lower Rhine and I'treclit, who by the methoeL> learned in their old homes reclaimed the swamp lands of the Mark for agricultural purposes; thi cities were peopled anew; the Dioceses of Branden- burg and Havelberg re-estabUshed; churcdes anc